bats

[ bats ]
/ bæts /

adjective Slang.

insane; crazy: He's gone bats.

Origin of bats

First recorded in 1915–20; see origin at bat2, -s3

Definition for bats (2 of 5)

Origin of bat

1
1175–1225; (noun) Middle English bat, bot, batte, Old English batt, perhaps < Celtic; compare Irish, Scots Gaelic bat, bata staff, cudgel; (v.) Middle English batten, partly from the noun, partly < Old French batre; see batter1

Definition for bats (3 of 5)

bat

2
[ bat ]
/ bæt /

noun

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

2
1570–75; apparently < Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish natt-batta, variant of Old Swedish natt-bakka night-bat; replacing Middle English bakke (< Scand), Middle English balke for *blake < Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish natt-blacka

Related forms

bat·like, adjective

Definition for bats (4 of 5)

bat

3
[ bat ]
/ bæt /

verb (used with object), bat·ted, bat·ting.

to blink; wink; flutter.

Origin of bat

3
First recorded in 1605–15; variant of bate2

Definition for bats (5 of 5)

batt

or bat

[ bat ]
/ bæt /

noun

a sheet of matted cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers.

Origin of batt

First recorded in 1830–40; special use of bat1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bats

British Dictionary definitions for bats (1 of 5)

bats

/ (bæts) /

adjective

informal crazy; very eccentric

Word Origin for bats

from bats-in-the-belfry (sense 2)

British Dictionary definitions for bats (2 of 5)

batt

/ (bæt) /

noun

textiles another word for batting (def. 1)
Australian and NZ a slab-shaped piece of insulating material used in building houses

British Dictionary definitions for bats (3 of 5)

bat

1
/ (bæt) /

noun

verb bats, batting or batted

(tr) to strike with or as if with a bat
(intr) sport (of a player or a team) to take a turn at batting
See also bat around

Word Origin for bat

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

British Dictionary definitions for bats (4 of 5)

bat

2
/ (bæt) /

noun

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
slang an irritating or eccentric woman (esp in the phrase old bat)
blind as a bat having extremely poor eyesight
have bats in the belfry or have bats in one's belfry informal to be mad or eccentric; have strange ideas
like a bat out of hell slang very quickly

Derived Forms

batlike, adjective

Word Origin for bat

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

British Dictionary definitions for bats (5 of 5)

bat

3
/ (bæt) /

verb bats, batting or batted (tr)

to wink or flutter (one's eyelids)
not bat an eye or not bat an eyelid informal to show no surprise or concern

Word Origin for 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

Idioms and Phrases with bats

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.