(often initial capital letter) a chicken of any of several varieties or breeds characterized by very small size.
a small and feisty or quarrelsome person.
diminutive; tiny: bantam editions of the classics.

1740–50; apparently after Bantam, through which such chickens may have been imported to Europe

3. miniature, small, petite, wee, pygmy, Lilliputian. Unabridged


[ban-tuhm; Dutch bahn-tahm]
a village in W Java, in S Indonesia: first Dutch settlement in the East Indies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bantam (ˈbæntəm)
1.  any of various very small breeds of domestic fowl
2.  a small but aggressive person
3.  boxing short for bantamweight
4.  (Canadian)
 a.  an age level of between 13 and 15 in amateur sport, esp ice hockey
 b.  (as modifier): bantam hockey
[C18: after Bantam village in Java, said to be the original home of this fowl]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1749, after Bantam, former Dutch residency in Java, from which the small domestic fowl were said to have been first imported. Extension to "small person" is 1837. As a light weight class in boxing, it is attested from 1884, probably from the birds, which are small but aggressive and bred for fighting.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He is bantam weight, with light-blue-gray eyes and honey-colored skin.
We have this three-penny dictator, this bantam rooster of no consequence.
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