bastardy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English bastardie (also as bastardrie), a borrowing from Old French bastardie.

Noun[edit]

bastardy (countable and uncountable, plural bastardies)

  1. (law) The condition of being illegitimate, of being born to an unmarried woman or as the fruit of adultery.
    • Shakespeare, Richard III, Act 3, Scene 5.
      Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham.
      The Mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:—
      There, at your meet'st advantage of the time,
      Infer the bastardy of Edward's children:
      Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen,
      Only for saying he would make his son
      Heir to the crown;—meaning, indeed, his house,
      Which, by the sign thereof, was termed so.

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