- Music. a wand used by a conductor.
- a rod of lightweight metal fitted with a weighted bulb at each end and carried and twirled by a drum major or majorette.
- Track. a hollow rod of wood, paper, or plastic that is passed during a race from one member of a relay team to the next in a prescribed area.
- a staff, club, or truncheon, especially one serving as a mark of office or authority.
- a diminutive of the bend sinister, couped at the extremities: used in England as a mark of bastardy.
- a similar diminutive of the ordinary bend.
Origin of baton
SynonymsSee more synonyms for baton on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for baton
The Obama administration took up the baton in 2009 and has since become the most evidence-based administration in history.Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball?
Peter Orszag, Jim Nussle
December 23, 2014
But the most recent poll of the race, conducted for the Baton Rouge Fox affiliate, has Landrieu ahead of Cassidy 36 to 32 percent.How This Election Could Go to January
October 24, 2014
You see, as far as passing the baton down, Michael used to look at Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and James Brown.Quincy Jones Talks Chicago’s Mean Streets, Why Kanye West Is No Michael Jackson, and Bieber
September 25, 2014
I mean, you run the best race you can run, you hand off the baton.
That means a lot of kids are going to come to Baton Rouge and try college for a while, not like it, and leave.Liberals’ College Hoops Pity Party
March 21, 2014
"Then give me a baton," she responded, springing to her feet.The Bacillus of Beauty
Oh, I'll have to send you to the provost-martial at Baton Rouge and let you settle that with him.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
Then the conductor, seeing that the incident was over, raised his baton.Where Angels Fear to Tread
E. M. Forster
As he did so, I loosed a cry of alarm and almost dropped the baton.Lighter Than You Think
In his hand was a baton which he brandished demoniacally at an orchestra of his own.The Paliser case
- a thin stick used by the conductor of an orchestra, choir, etc, to indicate rhythm or expression
- a short stick carried for use as a weapon, as by a policeman; truncheon
- (as modifier)a baton charge
- athletics a short bar carried by a competitor in a relay race and transferred to the next runner at the end of each stage
- a long stick with a knob on one end, carried, twirled, and thrown up and down by a drum major or drum majorette, esp at the head of a parade
- a staff or club carried by an official as a symbol of authority
- heraldry a single narrow diagonal line superimposed on all other charges, esp one curtailed at each end, signifying a bastard line
Word Origin and History for baton
1540s, "a staff used as a weapon," from French bâton "stick, walking stick, staff, club, wand," from Old French baston (12c.) "stick, staff, rod," from Late Latin bastum "stout staff," probably of Gaulish origin or else from Greek *baston "support," from bastazein "to lift up, raise, carry." Meaning "staff carried as a symbol of office" is from 1580s; musical sense of "conductor's wand" is from 1841 (from 1839 as a French word in English). Often anglicized 17c.-18c. as batoon.