Bas*tile", Bas*tille" (?), n. [F. bastille fortress, OF. bastir to build, F. btir.]
1. Feud. Fort.
A tower or an elevated work, used for the defense, or in the siege, of a fortified place.
The high bastiles . . . which overtopped the walls.
"The Bastille", formerly a castle or fortress in Paris, used as a prison, especially for political offenders; hence, a rhetorical name for a prison.
© Webster 1913.