Definition of bantam in English:

bantam

noun

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

    figurative ‘what a wiry bantam he is!’
    • ‘I always despised dolls; we were outdoor children and puppies, bantams, guinea-pigs and, of course, ponies, were so much more interesting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's a prize-winning breeder of poultry and waterfowl and started breeding bantams and poultry when he was seven.’
    • ‘The £7.99 book was inspired by the dozen bantams and sole chicken, Val, that she keeps in the back garden.’
    • ‘Out back were the Vietnamese pheasants and bantams that Kilroy-Silk breeds.’
    • ‘And if you know me, I couldn't get ordinary bantams, I had to get pedigree ones.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is an abundance of native birds living alongside badgers, deer and the marauding foxes which cleared out the bantams of a previous tenant.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘To his credit, Higgins is an exception, standing up like a bantam fighting cock when he feels inspired.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a posse of bantams come to check out whether or not that strange smell means that we are about to eat ‘Mother’.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    • ‘WBC bantam champion Veeraphol Sahaprom stopped Boy Givara in round seven of a ten-round non-title bout at the Mall Shopping Center Stadium in Bangkok.’
    • ‘Pladner said he was through fighting as a flyweight, and would henceforth turn his attention to the bantams.’
    • ‘The win has clearly established Burke as the king of the bantams, especially when paired with his USA class victory this past July.’
    • ‘This year, for the first time, we have not had parents coaching our bantam or midget teams.’
    • ‘Tiger Flowers was middleweight champion in 1926, Panama Al Brown the bantam in 1929, Kid Chocolate the Jr. lightweight in 1931, and John Henry Lewis light heavyweight belt holder in 1935.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

bantam

/ˈban(t)əm//ˈbæn(t)əm/