Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one bastion or multiple bastions.)
A bastion is any strong place that's protected against attacks. An actual bastion can look like this rounded part of the castle:
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)
More loosely, a bastion is anything that strongly protects a certain quality.
How to use it:
Talk about one thing being the bastion of another thing, as in "He's the bastion of hope in our group when the rest of us are ready to quit." You can also say that something is a bastion against something else, as in "Her admirable work ethic is a bastion against career stagnation." Something can be "a (noun) bastion" or "an (adjective) bastion," as in "a chivalry bastion" or "the liberal bastion," but that word order seems to be less common.
Feel free to stick in an adjective and talk about "the last bastion," "a great bastion," "their former bastion," "this crumbled bastion," and so on.
Generally you have bastions of positive things and bastions against negative things (meaning, the bastions protect the good qualities and protect against the bad qualities), but you can certainly reverse that and talk about, for example, "a bastion of discrimination" or "the bastion against critical thinking."
Finally, use "bastion" in a negative sense for emphasis that can range from gentle to acerbic: "We're no bastions of fashion in our sweatpants today, huh?" "Buffet-style restaurants are not exactly a bastion of health."
To find the bastion of southern hospitality, check out the excellent customer service in Houston restaurants.
Public education is meant to be a bastion against poverty, but it often isn't.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "bastion” means when you can explain it without saying “stronghold" or “fortified place or thing."
Think of someone you disagree with strongly, then fill in the blanks: "I'm sure (Person or group) consider(s) (himself/herself/themselves) a bastion of _____, but _____."
Example: "I'm sure Fiverr.com considers itself a bastion of freelance enterprise, but the fees they charge to both buyers and sellers are exorbitant."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for May is: “What Do These Words Have in Common?”
The three words given will have something specific in common. (More than one right answer might be possible, but I've only got one particular answer in mind for each set of words.) I've arranged the questions from easiest to hardest, so today’s should be very, very difficult.
What do these words have in common?: unlockable, unzippable, unionized.
Answer: Each can mean different things depending on how you interpret them: Unlockable means not able to be locked, if you read it as "un lockable," but it can also mean able to be unlocked, if you read it as "unlock able." Unzippable is the same: it can mean not able to be zipped OR able to be unzipped. Unionized means made into a union, if you read it as "union ized," but it can also mean not ionized, if you read it as "un ionized."
Try this one today: orthodontics, orthodox, orthography. (Obviously they all start with "ortho." :) But why?)
A Point Well Made:
Victor Hugo: "'Monsieur' to a convict is like a glass of water to a man dying of thirst at sea."
1. The closest opposite of BASTION is
2. In the movie The NeverEnding Story, the aptly named main character Bastian must _____
A. recapture a precious jewel.
B. take revenge against an unspeakably evil ruler.
C. protect a world that represents the power of imagination.
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.