[ bat-l-dawr, -dohr ]

  1. Also called battledore and shuttlecock. a game from which badminton was developed, played since ancient times in India and other Asian countries.

  2. a light racket for striking the shuttlecock in this game.

  1. 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.
  1. 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

Words Nearby battledore Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use battledore in a sentence

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

    The Complete Bachelor | Walter Germain
  • In brief, the author is trying to get the truth and not merely playing baby-battledore among phrases.

    Instigations | Ezra Pound
  • He made his characters play a game of verbal battledore and shuttlecock.

    The English Stage | Augustin Filon
  • In both towns and villages the streets are the playground, and here they play ball, or battledore and shuttlecock, or fly kites.

  • The girls play battledore and shuttlecock and bounce balls, and the boys spin tops and make them fight.

British Dictionary definitions for battledore


/ (ˈbætəlˌdɔː) /

  1. Also called: battledore and shuttlecock an ancient racket game

  2. a light racket, smaller than a tennis racket, used for striking the shuttlecock in this game

  1. (formerly) a wooden utensil used for beating clothes, in baking, etc

Origin of 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