follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

bastille

[ba-steel; French bas-tee-yuh] /bæˈstil; French basˈti yə/
noun, plural bastilles
[ba-steelz; French bas-tee-yuh] /bæˈstilz; French basˈti yə/ (Show IPA)
1.
(initial capital letter) a fortress in Paris, used as a prison, built in the 14th century and destroyed July 14, 1789.
2.
any prison or jail, especially one conducted in a tyrannical way.
3.
a fortified tower, as of a castle; a small fortress; citadel.
Also, bastile
[ba-steel] /bæˈstil/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English bastile < Middle French, probably alteration of bastide bastide, with -ile (< Medieval Latin, Latin -īle noun suffix of place) replacing -ide; replacing Middle English bastel < Old French basstel, with -el similarly replacing -ide
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for bastille

Bastille

/bæˈstiːl; French bastij/
noun
1.
a fortress in Paris, built in the 14th century: a prison until its destruction in 1789, at the beginning of the French Revolution
Word Origin
C14: from Old French bastile fortress, from Old Provençal bastida, from bastir to build, of Germanic origin; see baste1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bastille

Bastille

n.

14c. Paris prison destroyed by revolutionaries on July 14, 1789, French, literally "fortress, tower" (see bastion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
bastille in Culture
Bastille [(ba-steel)]

A prison in Paris where many political and other offenders were held and tortured until the time of the French Revolution. It was attacked by workers on July 14, 1789, during the revolution; the prisoners were released, and the building was later demolished.

Note: The anniversary of the attack, Bastille Day, is the most important national holiday in France.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for bastille

bastille

noun

A jail or prison

[1880s+; fr the former French royal prison]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bastille

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bastille

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bastille

Nearby words for bastille