You searched for: “dastard
bastard, bastard, bastardly; dastard, dastardly, dastardly
bastard (BAS tuhrd) (noun)
1. An offensive term which should be avoided, meaning someone whose parents were not married to each other when he or she was born; in other words, illegitimate: The girl was the bastard of the woman who was having an extramarital affair with the politician who was still married to another woman.
bastard (BAS tuhrd (adjective)
Something that is of irregular, inferior, or of dubious origin; impure, irregular, inferior: It was a bastard style of architecture and the architect even spoke bastardly with the French construction crew.
bastardly (BAS tuhrd lee) (adjective)
Someone who is held to be mean or disagreeable: Most people thought he was a bastardly cruel man who deserved the prison term of "life without parole".
dastard (DAS tuhrd) (adjective)
A sneaking, malicious coward: None of the investors ever thought that this dastard, Bernie Madoff, would become the "$19 Billion Con Man".
dastardly (DAS tuhrd lee) (adjective)
Very cruel; using tricks or deceitful maneuvers to hurt people: She wrote about a dastardly villain who made dastardly attacks on innocent people.

As far as some people were concerned, Bernard L. Madoff was an affable, charismatic man who moved comfortably among power brokers on Wall Street and in Washington, a winning financier who turned out to be a dastardly investor losing billions of dollars for his clients.

dastardly (DAS tuhrd lee) (adjective)
A reference to being cowardly, sneaky, base, vile, despicable, and atrocious person: The woman who shot and killed the teachers in an Alabama school recently is probably considered by some people to be a dastardly person who should be prosecuted to the limit of the law.

The dastardly act included three teachers who were killed, at least three others were wounded, and a suspect (another teacher) was in custody Friday after a shooting on the campus of the University of Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama, officials said (February 12, 2010).

Although bastard was a common term that was used in the past, it is now considered to be unacceptable and vulgar by many people and it is recommended that its usage should be avoided!

In legal usage, illegitimacy is the more acceptable term to replace bastard, and the preferable one for avoiding unduly derogatory connotations.

While dastardly is not used as a vulgar term, it still has shameful, villainous, and despicable applications to individuals who do dastardly things.

More Recent Definitions for Dastard and Dastardly

Dastard is commonly muddled because of the sound association with its harsher rhyme, bastard and modern writers tend to use dastard as a printable euphemism for the more widely objectionable epithet.

Recent American dictionaries record one meaning of dastard as being "dishonorable, despicable" or "treacherously underhanded". So the new meaning should probably now be considered standard.

Like the noun form, the adjective dastardly has been subjected to a slipshod extension. Although most dictionaries define it merely as "cowardly", it is now often used as if it means "sneaky, underhanded; treacherous".

—The last three paragraphs were compiled from information provided by
Bryan A. Garner in his Garner's Modern American Usage book;
Oxford University Press; New York; 2009; page 224.
Word Entries at Get Words: “dastard
dastard (DAS tuhrd) (s) (noun), dastards (pl)
A sneaking, malicious coward; someone who is very cruel or who uses tricks to hurt people: During the invasion of the city, that dastard shot at and killed many unarmed and innocent people.
This entry is located in the following unit: English Words in Action, Group D (page 1)