baton

[ buh-ton, ba-, bat-n ]
/ bəˈtɒn, bæ-, ˈbæt n /

noun

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.
Heraldry.
  1. a diminutive of the bend sinister, couped at the extremities: used in England as a mark of bastardy.
  2. a similar diminutive of the ordinary bend.

Origin of baton

1540–50; < Middle French bâton, Old French baston < Vulgar Latin *bastōn- (stem of *bastō) stick, club; compare Late Latin bastum staff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for baton

British Dictionary definitions for baton

baton

/ (ˈbætən, -tɒn) /

noun

a thin stick used by the conductor of an orchestra, choir, etc, to indicate rhythm or expression
  1. a short stick carried for use as a weapon, as by a policeman; truncheon
  2. (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 for baton

C16: from French bâton, from Late Latin bastum rod, probably ultimately from Greek bastazein to lift up, carry
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

Culture definitions for baton

baton


A stick used by some conductors of choruses or orchestras. The baton is traditionally used to indicate the tempo of the music.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.