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bastion (noun) a system, a group of persons, or an institution protecting a way of life, a set of beliefs, or a system, that appears to disappear or change; a place with strong military defenses; the projecting part of a castle.

When a system of beliefs or a way of life seems to disappear some people try to protect them. Such a group of people are the bastion of such beliefs or such a way of life. For example, clubs which admit only men as its members and are strictly against women's presence in them are bastions of male domination. Those who strongly believe in and defend racial superiority, knowing that the world is moving towards racial equality, are bastions of racial pride and privilege. A place strongly defended against a probable attack by the enemy is a bastion which is expected to protect the people in the place.

  • Ku Klux Klan, a secret organization formed in the US after the civil war, was a bastion of white supremacy. It attempted to preserve white domination in the US by violently attacking the other races and minorities.
  • Bin Laden and his men offer the bastion of Islamist fundamentalism, and perpetrate all kinds of violence against those who do not swear by Islam.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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