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.
to cause to thrive by or as if by feeding; fatten.
Other definitions for batten (2 of 4)
a small board or strip of wood used for various building purposes, as to cover joints between boards, reinforce certain doors, or supply a foundation for lathing.
a transverse iron or steel strip supporting the flooring strips of a metal fire escape.
a thin strip of wood inserted in a sail to keep it flat.
a thin, flat length of wood or metal used for various purposes, as to hold the tarpaulin covering a hatch in place.
Shipbuilding. a flexible strip of wood used for fairing the lines of a hull on the floor of a mold loft.
Also called pipe batten. a length of metal pipe hung from the gridiron, for suspending scenery or equipment, as drops, flats, or lighting units.
a narrow strip of lumber for constructing, reinforcing, or joining flats.
a similar strip attached to a drop to keep it flat or taut.
to furnish or bolster with battens.
Nautical. to cover (a hatch) so as to make watertight (usually followed by down).
Machinery. to secure (work) to a table or bed for a machining operation.
Building Trades. to join or assemble (a steel column or the like) with batten plates.
to suspend (scenery, stage lights, etc.) from a batten.
to fasten a batten to (a flat or drop).
- bat·ten·er, noun
Other definitions for batten (3 of 4)
(in a loom) the swinging frame for holding and positioning the reed.
a part of the lay of a loom.
to beat (filling yarn) into place with the batten.
Other definitions for Batten (4 of 4)
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. 2023
How to use batten in a sentence
It was a gloomy evening in April 2021, and I was battening down my mental hatches against whispers insisting the persistent full-body ache I’d begun to feel was the infamous new coronavirus.
As a foreign correspondent in Taiwan, I watched in shock as Taipei battened down the hatches during a recent drill.What it’s like to be in Taiwan, one year late to a pandemic lockdown | Leslie Nguyen-Okwu | June 11, 2021 | Quartz
We’re in a very different space at IGLTA than a year ago when we were battening down the hatches and not really knowing what was going to happen.Post-pandemic international LGBTQ travel surge expected | Michael K. Lavers | May 13, 2021 | Washington Blade
The stretchy, nose-high collar helps batten down the hatches when things get windy.Long-Term Review: These Are the Best Women's Fleeces | Anna Callaghan | April 13, 2021 | Outside Online
He should make one stop in Michigan to batten it down (Wisconsin looks safe, as does Pennsylvania), and maybe New Hampshire.Michael Tomasky on How Obama Can Seal the Deal in the Final Days | Michael Tomasky | November 1, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Pity the poor Zanesvillians who had to batten down the hatches to avoid being eaten by the 18 free-roaming Bengal tigers.
Home, there hear that my Lady batten had given my wife a visit (the first that ever she made her), which pleased me exceedingly.
Then to supper at Sir W. batten's again, where my wife by chance fell down and hurt her knees exceedingly.
Here we sat late, and so home to bed, having got my Lady batten to give me a spoonful of honey for my cold.
Rider told the first of his own knowledge; and both he and Sir W. batten confirm the last.
All the morning at the office, Sir W. batten being come to town last night.
British Dictionary definitions for batten (1 of 3)
a sawn strip of wood used in building to cover joints, provide a fixing for tiles or slates, support lathing, etc
a long narrow board used for flooring
a narrow flat length of wood or plastic inserted in pockets of a sail to give it proper shape
a lath used for holding a tarpaulin along the side of a raised hatch on a ship
a row of lights
the strip or bar supporting them
Also called: dropper NZ an upright part of a fence made of wood or other material, designed to keep wires at equal distances apart
(tr) to furnish or strengthen with battens
batten down the hatches
to use battens in nailing a tarpaulin over a hatch on a ship to make it secure
to prepare for action, a crisis, etc
- battening, noun
British Dictionary definitions for batten (2 of 3)
(intr usually foll by on) to thrive, esp at the expense of someone else: to batten on the needy
British Dictionary definitions for Batten (3 of 3)
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