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.

QUIZZES

IS YOUR DESERT PLANT KNOWLEDGE SUCCULENT OR DRIED UP?

Cactus aficionados, don't get left in the dust with this quiz on desert plants. Find out if you have the knowledge to survive this prickly foray into the desert!
Question 1 of 7
This tall, horizontally branched cactus is probably the most recognizable cactus in Arizona. What is it called?

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. 2020

Example sentences 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

Cultural 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.