• (RP) IPA: /ˈbɑːs.təd/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈbæs.tɚd/

bastard (plural bastards)

  1. A person who was born out of wedlock, and hence often considered an illegitimate descendant.
    Synonyms: love-child, born in the vestry, illegitimate, Thesaurus:bastard
    • 1965, The Big Valley
      Jarrod: Who are you?
      Heath: Your father's bastard son.
  2. A mongrel biological cross between different breeds, groups or varieties.
  3. (vulgar or pejorative, typically, referring to a man) A contemptible, inconsiderate, overly or arrogantly rude or spiteful person.
    Synonyms: son of a bitch, arsehole, asshole, Thesaurus:git, Thesaurus:jerk
    Some bastard stole my car while I was helping an injured person.
    • 1997, South Park television program
      "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" "You bastards!"
  4. (often, humorous) A man, a fellow, a male friend.
    lucky bastard
    poor bastard
    Get over here, you old bastard!
  5. (often preceded by 'poor') A person deserving of pity.
    Poor bastard, I feel so sorry for him.
    These poor bastards started out life probably in bad or broken homes.
  6. (informal) A child who does not know his or her father.
  7. (informal) Something extremely difficult or unpleasant to deal with.
    Life can be a real bastard.
  8. A variation that is not genuine; something irregular or inferior or of dubious origin, fake or counterfeit.
    The architecture was a kind of bastard, suggesting Gothic but not being true Gothic.
    • 1622, Francis Bacon, Bacon's History of the Reign of King Henry VII, Cambridge University Press (1902), page 62:
      There were also made good and politic laws that parliament, against usury, which is the bastard use of money...
  9. An intermediate-grade file; also bastard file.
  10. A sweet wine.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act 3, scene 2]:
      We shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.
  11. A sword that is midway in length between a short-sword and a long sword; also bastard sword.
  12. An inferior quality of soft brown sugar, obtained from syrups that have been boiled several times.
  13. A large mould for straining sugar.
  14. A writing paper of a particular size.
  15. (UK, politics, pejorative) A Eurosceptic Conservative MP, especially in the government of John Major.
    • 2000, Peter Hobday, Managing the message, Allison & Busby
      If you are a politician, you make sure that you know all such references in case an interviewer suddenly asks, 'Are you one of the bastards in Mr Major's cabinet?'
    • 2011, Duncan Hall, A2 Government and Politics: Ideologies and Ideologies in Action, ISBN 9781447733997, page 62
      While John Major managed to get the Maastricht Treaty through parliament, despite the efforts of the “bastards” in his cabinet, the 2001 Conservative General Election campaign was fought on entirely eurosceptic lines.
    • 2014, Melvin J. Lasky, Profanity, Obscenity and the Media, Transaction Publishers ISBN 9781412832014
      One “bastard,” the Minister for Wales, John Redwood (who mounted an unsuccessful campaign to displace the Tory chief, John Major), was removed in a Cabinet reshuffle; but was his young successor William Hague any more reliable?
  • legitimate#noun|legitimate
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adjective


  1. Of or like a bastard illegitimate human descendant.
  2. Of or like a bastard bad person.
  3. Of or like a mongrel, bastardized creature/cross.
  4. Of abnormal, irregular or otherwise inferior qualities (size, shape etc).
    a bastard musket
    a bastard culverin
  5. Spurious, lacking authenticity: counterfeit, fake.
    • that bastard self-love which is so vicious in itself, and productive of so many vices
  6. Used in the vernacular name of a species to indicate that it is similar in some way to another species, often (but not always) one of another genus.
    bastard gemsbok
    bastard mahogany
    bastard toadflax
    bastard trumpeter
  7. (UK, vulgar) Very unpleasant.
    I've got a bastard headache.
  8. (printing) Abbreviated, as the half title in a page preceding the full title page of a book.
  9. (theater lighting) Consisting of one predominant color blended with small amounts of complementary color; used to replicate natural light because of their warmer appearance.
    A bastard orange gel produces predominantly orange light with undertones of blue.
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: croisé
  • Russian: нечистокро́вный
Translations Translations Interjection
  1. (rare) Exclamation of strong dismay or strong sense of being upset.
    • 2001, Stephen King, “The Death of Jack Hamilton”, in Everything's Eventual, Simon and Schuster (2007), ISBN 978-1-4165-4985-7, page 90 ↗:
      Jack says, “Oh! Bastard! I’m hit!” That bullet had to have come in the busted back window and how it missed Johnnie to hit Jack I don’t know.
    • 2004, Cecelia Ahern, PS, I Love You (novel), Hyperion, ISBN 978-1-4013-0090-6, page 7 ↗:
      “Yes, I’m hhhhowwwwwwcch!” she yelped as she stubbed her toe against the bedpost. “Shit, shit, fuck, bastard, shit, crap!”
    • 2006, Emily Franklin, Love from London, Penguin, ISBN 978-0-451-21773-8, page 212 ↗:
      “Isn’t she lovely?” Clem asks, hopefully rhetorically. “Oh, bastard. I’ve got to go—that’s my signal. […] ”
Translations Verb

bastard (bastards, present participle bastarding; past and past participle bastarded)

  1. (obsolete) To bastardize.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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