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[bat] /bæt/
  1. the wooden club used in certain games, as baseball and cricket, to strike the ball.
  2. a racket, especially one used in badminton or table tennis.
  3. a whip used by a jockey.
  4. the act of using a club or racket in a game.
  5. the right or turn to use a club or racket.
a heavy stick, club, or cudgel.
Informal. a blow, as with a bat.
any fragment of brick or hardened clay.
Masonry. a brick cut transversely so as to leave one end whole.
British Slang. speed; rate of motion or progress, especially the pace of the stroke or step of a race.
Slang. a spree; binge:
to go on a bat.
  1. a sheet of gelatin or glue used in bat printing.
  2. a slab of moist clay.
  3. a ledge or shelf in a kiln.
  4. a slab of plaster for holding a piece being modeled or for absorbing excess water from slip.
verb (used with object), batted, batting.
to strike or hit with or as if with a bat or club.
Baseball. to have a batting average of; hit:
He batted .325 in spring training.
verb (used without object), batted, batting.
  1. to strike at the ball with the bat.
  2. to take one's turn as a batter.
Slang. to rush.
Verb phrases
bat around,
  1. Slang. to roam; drift.
  2. Informal. to discuss or ponder; debate:
    We batted the idea around.
  3. Baseball. to have every player in the lineup take a turn at bat during a single inning.
bat in, Baseball. to cause (a run) to be scored by getting a hit:
He batted in two runs with a double to left.
bat out, to do, write, produce, etc., hurriedly:
I have to bat out a term paper before class.
at bat, Baseball.
  1. taking one's turn to bat in a game:
    at bat with two men in scoring position.
  2. an instance at bat officially charged to a batter except when the batter is hit by a pitch, receives a base on balls, is interfered with by the catcher, or makes a sacrifice hit or sacrifice fly:
    two hits in three at bats.
bat the breeze. breeze1 (def 11).
go to bat for, Informal. to intercede for; vouch for; defend:
to go to bat for a friend.
right off the bat, Informal. at once; without delay:
They asked me to sing right off the bat.
Origin of bat1
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English bat, bot, batte, Old English batt, perhaps < Celtic; compare Irish, Scots Gaelic bat, bata staff, cudgel; (v.) Middle English batten, partly from the noun, partly < Old French batre; see batter1
10. knock, wallop, swat, smack, sock, slug; clout, clobber. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bat out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I managed to knock Doe's bat out of his hand, and, as he stooped to pick it up, he received my pads upon his person.

    Tell England Ernest Raymond
  • If I can't do better I'll take that devil, whoever he is, by the heels, and bat out the brains of the other pirates.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • The signal is given, and every man goes to destruction as swift as a bat out of hell.

    The Key to Yesterday

    Charles Neville Buck
  • bat out of the bag, you mean,” said Glyn, who knew of the disappearance of the bat and began to see through what had been done.

    Glyn Severn's Schooldays George Manville Fenn
  • A nine that has not made a hit for several innings will suddenly start in and bat out a victory.

    Base-Ball John M. Ward
  • It looked as if they might score, but Joe took a sudden brace and pitched the next man at the bat out in one-two-three order.

  • Try and hit a small object flashing by when youre traveling like a bat out ofahem!Harlem.

British Dictionary definitions for bat out


any of various types of club with a handle, used to hit the ball in certain sports, such as cricket, baseball, or table tennis
a flat round club with a short handle, resembling a table-tennis bat, used by a man on the ground to guide the pilot of an aircraft when taxiing
(cricket) short for batsman
any stout stick, esp a wooden one
(informal) a blow from such a stick
(Austral) a small board used for tossing the coins in the game of two-up
(US & Canadian, slang) a drinking spree; binge
(slang) speed; rate; pace: they went at a fair bat
another word for batting (sense 1)
(cricket) carry one's bat, (of an opening batsman) to reach the end of an innings without being dismissed
off one's own bat
  1. of one's own accord; without being prompted by someone else
  2. by one's own unaided efforts
(US & Canadian, informal) off the bat, right off the bat, immediately; without hesitation
verb bats, batting, batted
(transitive) to strike with or as if with a bat
(intransitive) (sport) (of a player or a team) to take a turn at batting
See also bat around
Word Origin
Old English batt club, probably of Celtic origin; compare Gaelic bat, Russian bat


any placental mammal of the order Chiroptera, being a nocturnal mouselike animal flying with a pair of membranous wings (patagia). The group is divided into the Megachiroptera (fruit bats) and Microchiroptera (insectivorous bats) related adjective chiropteran
(slang) an irritating or eccentric woman (esp in the phrase old bat)
blind as a bat, having extremely poor eyesight
(informal) have bats in the belfry, have bats in one's belfry, to be mad or eccentric; have strange ideas
(slang) like a bat out of hell, very quickly
Derived Forms
batlike, adjective
Word Origin
C14 bakke, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse ledhrblaka leather-flapper, Swedish dialect natt-batta night bat


verb (transitive) bats, batting, batted
to wink or flutter (one's eyelids)
(informal) not bat an eye, not bat an eyelid, to show no surprise or concern
Word Origin
C17: probably a variant of bate²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bat out



"to hit with a bat," mid-15c., from bat (n.1). Related: Batted; batting.



"a stick, a club," Old English *batt "cudgel," perhaps from Celtic (cf. Irish and Gaelic bat, bata "staff, cudgel"), influenced by Old French batte, from Late Latin battre "beat;" all from PIE root *bhat- "to strike." Also "a lump, piece" (mid-14c.), as in brickbat. As a kind of paddle used to play cricket, it is attested from 1706.

Phrase right off the bat is 1888, also hot from the bat (1888), probably a baseball metaphor, but cricket is possible as a source; there is an early citation from Australia (in an article about slang): "Well, it is a vice you'd better get rid of then. Refined conversation is a mark of culture. Let me hear that kid use slang again, and I'll give it to him right off the bat. I'll wipe up the floor with him. I'll ---" ["The Australian Journal," November 1888].



flying mammal (order Chiroptera), 1570s, a dialectal alteration of Middle English bakke (early 14c.), which is probably related to Old Swedish natbakka, Old Danish nathbakkæ "night bat," and Old Norse leðrblaka "leather flapper," so original sense is likely "flapper." The shift from -k- to -t- may have come through confusion of bakke with Latin blatta "moth, nocturnal insect."

Old English word for the animal was hreremus, from hreran "to shake" (see rare (adj.2)), and rattle-mouse is attested from late 16c., an old dialectal word for "bat." As a contemptuous term for an old woman, perhaps a suggestion of witchcraft (cf. fly-by-night), or from bat as "prostitute who plies her trade by night" [Farmer, who calls it "old slang" and finds French equivalent "night swallow" (hirondelle de nuit) "more poetic"].



"to move the eyelids," 1847, American English, from earlier sense of "flutter as a hawk" (1610s), a variant of bate (v.2) on the notion of fluttering wings. Related: Batted; batting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bat out

bat out

verb phrase

To write something more quickly than one ought; whomp up: He kept batting out scenes/ Bat me out a memo, please (1940s+)



  1. A prostitute; a loose woman •Probably so called because she works at night (1600s+)
  2. old bat
  3. A woman, esp an ugly one (1880s+)
  4. A spree; carousal; binge (1840s+)

Related Terms

go to bat against, go to bat for, have bats in one's belfry, like a bat out of hell, right off the bat, take off like a bigass bird

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with bat out
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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