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.

Idioms

    blind as a bat, nearly or completely blind; having very poor vision: Anyone can tell that he's blind as a bat, but he won't wear glasses.
    have bats in one's belfry, Informal. to have crazy ideas; be very peculiar, erratic, or foolish: If you think you can row across the ocean in that boat, you have bats in your belfry.

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 formsbat·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for blind as a bat (1 of 3)

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 blind as a bat (2 of 3)

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 Formsbatlike, 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 blind as a bat (3 of 3)

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 blind as a bat (1 of 2)

blind as a bat


Quite blind; also, unaware. For example, Without my glasses I'm blind as a bat, or I had no idea they wanted me to take over his job; I was blind as a bat. This simile, based on the erroneous idea that the bat's erratic flight means it cannot see properly, has survived even though it is now known that bats have a sophisticated built-in sonar system. [Late 1500s]

Idioms and Phrases with blind as a bat (2 of 2)

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.