[ bat ]
See synonyms for bat on
  1. Sports.

    • 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.

  2. a heavy stick, club, or cudgel.

  1. Informal. a blow, as with a bat.

  2. any fragment of brick or hardened clay.

  3. Masonry. a brick cut transversely so as to leave one end whole.

  4. British Slang. speed; rate of motion or progress, especially the pace of the stroke or step of a race.

  5. Slang. a spree; binge: to go on a bat.

  6. Ceramics.

    • 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.
  1. to strike or hit with or as if with a bat or club.

  2. Baseball. to have a batting average of; hit: He batted .325 in spring training.

verb (used without object),bat·ted, bat·ting.
  1. Sports.

    • to strike at the ball with the bat.

    • to take one's turn as a batter.

Verb Phrases
  1. bat around,

    • 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.

  2. bat in, Baseball. to cause (a run) to be scored by getting a hit: He batted in two runs with a double to left.

  1. bat out, to do, write, produce, etc., hurriedly: I have to bat out a term paper before class.

Idioms about bat

  1. at bat, Baseball. See entry at at bat.

  2. bat the breeze. breeze1 (def. 11).

  1. go to bat for, Informal. to intercede for; vouch for; defend: to go to bat for a friend.

  2. right off the bat, Informal. at once; without delay: They asked me to sing right off the bat.

Origin of bat

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English noun bat, bot, batte, Old English batt, perhaps from Celtic; compare Irish, Scots Gaelic bat, bata “staff, cudgel”; Middle English verb batten, partly from the noun, partly from Old French batre; see batter1

Other words for bat

Words Nearby bat

Other definitions for bat (2 of 4)

[ bat ]

  1. any of numerous flying mammals of the order Chiroptera, of worldwide distribution in tropical and temperate regions, having modified forelimbs that serve as wings and are covered with a membranous skin extending to the hind limbs.

Origin of bat

First recorded in 1570–75; apparently from Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish natt-batta, variant of Old Swedish natt-bakka “night-bat”; replacing Middle English bakke, bak (from Scandinavian), Middle English balke for unrecorded blake, from Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish natt-blacka, Old Icelandic ledhr-blaka “bat,” equivalent to ledhr “skin, leather” + blaka “flutter”

Other words from bat

  • batlike, adjective

Other definitions for bat (3 of 4)

[ bat ]

verb (used with object),bat·ted, bat·ting.
  1. to flutter; blink; wink.

Origin of bat

An Americanism dating back to 1835–40, extended sense of earlier “flutter like a hawk” first recorded in 1605–15; variant of see origin at bate2

Other definitions for bat. (4 of 4)


  1. battalion.

  2. battery. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bat (1 of 3)


/ (bæt) /

  1. any of various types of club with a handle, used to hit the ball in certain sports, such as cricket, baseball, or table tennis

  2. 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

  1. cricket short for batsman

  2. any stout stick, esp a wooden one

  3. informal a blow from such a stick

  4. Australian a small board used for tossing the coins in the game of two-up

  5. US and Canadian slang a drinking spree; binge

  6. slang speed; rate; pace: they went at a fair bat

  7. another word for batting (def. 1)

  8. carry one's bat cricket (of an opening batsman) to reach the end of an innings without being dismissed

  9. off one's own bat

    • of one's own accord; without being prompted by someone else

    • by one's own unaided efforts

  10. off the bat or right off the bat US and Canadian informal immediately; without hesitation

verbbats, batting or batted
  1. (tr) to strike with or as if with a bat

  2. (intr) sport (of a player or a team) to take a turn at batting

Origin of bat

Old English batt club, probably of Celtic origin; compare Gaelic bat, Russian bat

British Dictionary definitions for bat (2 of 3)


/ (bæt) /

  1. 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

  2. slang an irritating or eccentric woman (esp in the phrase old bat)

  1. blind as a bat having extremely poor eyesight

  2. have bats in the belfry or have bats in one's belfry informal to be mad or eccentric; have strange ideas

  3. like a bat out of hell slang very quickly

Origin of bat

C14 bakke, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse ledhrblaka leather-flapper, Swedish dialect natt-batta night bat

Derived forms of bat

  • batlike, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for bat (3 of 3)


/ (bæt) /

verbbats, batting or batted (tr)
  1. to wink or flutter (one's eyelids)

  2. not bat an eye or not bat an eyelid informal to show no surprise or concern

Origin of bat

C17: probably a variant of bate ²

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with bat


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

also see:

  • 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.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.