[bat-l-dawr, -dohr]


Also called battledore and shuttlecock. a game from which badminton was developed, played since ancient times in India and other Asian countries.
a light racket for striking the shuttlecock in this game.
a 17th- and 18th-century hornbook of wood or cardboard, used as a child's primer.

verb (used with or without object), bat·tle·dored, bat·tle·dor·ing.

to toss or fly back and forth: to battledore the plan among one's colleagues.

Origin of battledore

1400–50; late Middle English batyldo(u)re washing beetle, equivalent to batyl to beat (clothes) in washing (frequentative of bat1) + -dore dung beetle (beetle1 for beetle2 by way of pun, with allusion to filth on clothes). See dor1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for battledore

Historical Examples of battledore

  • When my battledore and shuttle-cock comes, I'll let you all play with 'em.

    Little Men

    Louisa May Alcott

  • Companion in battledore and shuttlecock, Romane de Clos-Vougeot!


    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • He hastened to the maker of the battledore—but arrived too late!

  • She held it with one hand, as she poised her battledore with the other.

  • The difference is that instead of racquet and ball, battledore and shuttlecock are used.

    The Complete Bachelor

    Walter Germain

British Dictionary definitions for battledore



Also called: battledore and shuttlecock an ancient racket game
a light racket, smaller than a tennis racket, used for striking the shuttlecock in this game
(formerly) a wooden utensil used for beating clothes, in baking, etc

Word Origin for battledore

C15 batyldoure, perhaps from Old Provençal batedor a beater, from Old French battre to beat, batter 1
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

Word Origin and History for battledore

mid-15c., "bat-like implement used in washing clothes," of unknown origin, perhaps from Old Provençal batedor, Spanish batidor "beater, bat," from batir "to beat;" perhaps blended with Middle English betel "hammer, mallet." As a trype of racket used in a game, from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper