- the wooden club used in certain games, as baseball and cricket, to strike the ball.
- a racket, especially one used in badminton or table tennis.
- a whip used by a jockey.
- the act of using a club or racket in a game.
- the right or turn to use a club or racket.
- a sheet of gelatin or glue used in bat printing.
- a slab of moist clay.
- a ledge or shelf in a kiln.
- a slab of plaster for holding a piece being modeled or for absorbing excess water from slip.
verb (used with object), bat·ted, bat·ting.
verb (used without object), bat·ted, bat·ting.
- to strike at the ball with the bat.
- to take one's turn as a batter.
- Slang.to roam; drift.
- Informal.to discuss or ponder; debate: We batted the idea around.
- Baseball.to have every player in the lineup take a turn at bat during a single inning.
- taking one's turn to bat in a game: at bat with two men in scoring position.
- 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.
Origin of bat1
Synonyms for bat
- of one's own accord; without being prompted by someone else
- by one's own unaided efforts
verb bats, batting or batted
Word Origin for bat
Word Origin for bat
verb bats, batting or batted (tr)
Word Origin for bat
"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.
Hit something around, often with a baseball bat or other object, as in We batted the tennis ball around this morning. Originating in baseball, this term came to be applied to more violent action as well, as in Jerry left after being batted around by his father. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
Discuss or debate something, as in We batted the various plans around for at least an hour before we came to a decision. This usage transfers batting a ball to a back-and-forth exchange of ideas. [Slang; late 1800s]
Drift aimlessly, roam, as in After graduating, they batted around Europe for a year. [Slang; c. 1900]
In addition to the idioms beginning with bat
- bat an eye
- bat around
- bat one thousand
- bats in one's belfry, have
- bat the breeze
- at bat
- blind as a bat
- bats in one's belfry
- go to bat for
- like a bat out of hell
right off the bat.