bastion

[bas-chuhn, -tee-uhn]
noun
1.
Fortification. a projecting portion of a rampart or fortification that forms an irregular pentagon attached at the base to the main work.
2.
a fortified place.
3.
anything seen as preserving or protecting some quality, condition, etc.: a bastion of solitude; a bastion of democracy.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Middle French < Italian bastione, equivalent to Upper Italian bastí(a) bastion, orig., fortified, built (cognate with Italian bastita, past participle of bastire to build < Germanic; see baste1) + -one augmentative suffix

bastionary [bas-chuh-ner-ee] , adjective
bastioned, adjective


2. fortress, fort, bulwark, stronghold, citadel.
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World English Dictionary
bastion (ˈbæstɪən)
 
n
1.  a projecting work in a fortification designed to permit fire to the flanks along the face of the wall
2.  any fortified place
3.  a thing or person regarded as upholding or defending an attitude, principle, etc: the last bastion of opposition
 
[C16: from French, from earlier bastillon bastion, from bastilleBastille]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bastion
1560s, from M.Fr. bastillon, dim. of O.Fr. bastille "fortress, tower, fortified, building," from O.Prov. bastir "build," originally "make with bast" (see baste (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Let's not forget that universities are hardly the bastions of free intellectual inquiry that they might once have been.
Our school systems, on the other hand, are bastions of stability.
They've never been great bastions of journalism, but they didn't always used to be this annoying.
For business travelers who appreciate the fine things, a growing list of understated bastions of elegance define downtown luxury.
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