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


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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