Definition of bantam in English:

bantam

noun

  • 1A chicken of a small breed, the cock of which is noted for its aggression.

    • ‘And if you know me, I couldn't get ordinary bantams, I had to get pedigree ones.’
    • ‘To his credit, Higgins is an exception, standing up like a bantam fighting cock when he feels inspired.’
    • ‘The bantams have been giving me strange looks recently, and a small robin is trying to nest in our bedroom (totally ignored by the cat).’
    • ‘A True Bantam is a breed of bantam that does not have a large fowl equivalent and the Rosecomb is an English breed dating back well over a hundred years.’
    • ‘In the poultry tent bantams strutted their stuff as proudly as any cocksure pop star, while there was sheep-like following for anyone careless enough to leave a pen hurdle unclosed.’
    • ‘He's a prize-winning breeder of poultry and waterfowl and started breeding bantams and poultry when he was seven.’
    • ‘As well as individual success for the Ancona, Mr Addison's birds also won a string of prizes at the Staffordshire show in classes for Old English Game bantams, pullets and Weaten hens.’
    • ‘All species of poultry - large fowl, bantams, waterfowl and turkeys - are kept by thousands of people as pets or simply because they have the space and like to see them around.’
    • ‘When there was no one else to spar with, he and his brother Johnny, who's now 16, would flail at each other like mad bantams.’
    • ‘I had not tasted a real ‘home-grown’ egg till I befriended a wholesome farming woman, whose Rhode Islands and Sussex bantams run freely around the adjoining fields.’
    • ‘‘It's an achievement to win something like this,’ said East Londoner Alan Volker whose Old English Game bantam won the best bantam on show.’
    • ‘I always despised dolls; we were outdoor children and puppies, bantams, guinea-pigs and, of course, ponies, were so much more interesting.’
    • ‘Out back were the Vietnamese pheasants and bantams that Kilroy-Silk breeds.’
    • ‘Birds affected by this disease are fowls, bantams, turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, guinea fowl and other wild and captive birds, including ratites such as ostriches, emus and rhea.’
    • ‘He prowled, then pounced - ballet technique in high gear - like a prize bantam; she shimmied - midriff bare, legs striking out from her flaming outfit - to dish out a hot-pepper attitude.’
    • ‘The £7.99 book was inspired by the dozen bantams and sole chicken, Val, that she keeps in the back garden.’
    • ‘Farming at ‘Cartron’ in my day had become more of a hobby - free-range hens and bantams clucked and pecked around the open ‘plot’ area, supplying quality eggs daily.’
    • ‘There is an abundance of native birds living alongside badgers, deer and the marauding foxes which cleared out the bantams of a previous tenant.’
    • ‘‘I have enjoyed my job, but it will be nice having more time to carry out my hobbies,’ said Eric, a keen gardener and breeder of more than 30 varieties of bantams.’
    • ‘It is a posse of bantams come to check out whether or not that strange smell means that we are about to eat ‘Mother’.’
    tiny, small, little, petite, minute, miniature, mini, minuscule, microscopic, nanoscopic, small-scale, compact, pocket, toy, midget, undersized, short, stubby, elfin, dwarfish, dwarf, pygmy, bantam, homuncular, lilliputian
    View synonyms
  • 2

    short for bantamweight
  • 3Canadian usually as modifier A level of amateur sport typically involving children aged between 13 and 15.

    ‘bantam hockey’
    • ‘The coach of the Assiniboine West girls bantam team in the Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association is suspended after mooning a referee, while keeping his underwear on.’
    • ‘Good luck to the Strathmore Reds AA bantam baseball team, as they gear up for the Provincial Championship this weekend.’
    • ‘The tournament showcases the top bantam hockey players in the province divided into 12 regional teams.’
    • ‘Five local bantam age players were selected in the first ever Manitoba Junior Hockey League draft last weekend in Swan River.’
    • ‘I played defense on teams in bantam hockey until three years ago.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: apparently named after the province of Bantam in Java, although the chicken is not native there.

Pronunciation

bantam

/ˈbantəm/