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batten

1
[ bat-n ]
/ ˈbæt n /
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Definition of batten

verb (used without object)
to thrive by feeding; grow fat.
to feed gluttonously or greedily; glut oneself.
to thrive, prosper, or live in luxury, especially at the expense of others: robber barons who battened on poor workers.
verb (used with object)
to cause to thrive by or as if by feeding; fatten.
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Origin of batten

1
First recorded in 1585–95; apparently from Old Norse batna “to improve”; cognate with Gothic gabatnan “to benefit, profit”; compare Old English bet, Gothic batis, Old High German baz “better”; see better1

Other definitions for batten (2 of 4)

batten2
[ bat-n ]
/ ˈbæt n /

noun
verb (used with object)

Origin of batten

2
First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English bataunt, batent “finished board,” from Old French batant, noun use of past participle of batre “to beat”; see bate2, -ant

OTHER WORDS FROM batten

bat·ten·er, noun

Other definitions for batten (3 of 4)

batten3
[ bat-n ]
/ ˈbæt n /
Textiles.

noun
(in a loom) the swinging frame for holding and positioning the reed.
a part of the lay of a loom.
verb (used with object)
to beat (filling yarn) into place with the batten.

Origin of batten

3
First recorded in 1825–35; alteration of French battant; see batten2

Other definitions for batten (4 of 4)

Batten
[ bat-n ]
/ ˈbæt n /

noun
Jean "The Garbo of the Skies", 1909–82, New Zealand aviator: first woman to make solo round-trip flight between England and Australia, 1934–35.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use batten in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for batten (1 of 3)

batten1
/ (ˈbætən) /

noun
verb
(tr) to furnish or strengthen with battens
batten down the hatches
  1. to use battens in nailing a tarpaulin over a hatch on a ship to make it secure
  2. to prepare for action, a crisis, etc

Derived forms of batten

battening, noun

Word Origin for batten

C15: from French bâton stick; see baton

British Dictionary definitions for batten (2 of 3)

batten2
/ (ˈbætən) /

verb
(intr usually foll by on) to thrive, esp at the expense of someone elseto batten on the needy

Word Origin for batten

C16: probably from Old Norse batna to improve; related to Old Norse betr better 1, Old High German bazzen to get better

British Dictionary definitions for batten (3 of 3)

Batten
/ (ˈbætən) /

noun
Jean . 1909–82, New Zealand aviator: the first woman to fly single-handed from Australia to Britain (1935)
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
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