Definition of bantam in US English:

bantam

noun

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

    • ‘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 always despised dolls; we were outdoor children and puppies, bantams, guinea-pigs and, of course, ponies, were so much more interesting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘To his credit, Higgins is an exception, standing up like a bantam fighting cock when he feels inspired.’
    • ‘‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘He's a prize-winning breeder of poultry and waterfowl and started breeding bantams and poultry when he was seven.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a posse of bantams come to check out whether or not that strange smell means that we are about to eat ‘Mother’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And if you know me, I couldn't get ordinary bantams, I had to get pedigree ones.’
    • ‘Out back were the Vietnamese pheasants and bantams that Kilroy-Silk breeds.’
    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’
    • ‘I played defense on teams in bantam hockey until three years ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tournament showcases the top bantam hockey players in the province divided into 12 regional teams.’
    • ‘Good luck to the Strathmore Reds AA bantam baseball team, as they gear up for the Provincial Championship this weekend.’
    • ‘Five local bantam age players were selected in the first ever Manitoba Junior Hockey League draft last weekend in Swan River.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

bantam

/ˈbæn(t)əm//ˈban(t)əm/