from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various nocturnal flying mammals of the order Chiroptera, having membranous wings that extend from the forelimbs to the hind limbs or tail and anatomical adaptations for echolocation, by which they navigate and hunt prey.
  • idiom (have bats in (one's) belfry) To behave in an eccentric, bizarre manner.
  • noun A binge; a spree.
  • noun A stout wooden stick; a cudgel.
  • noun A blow, such as one delivered with a stick.
  • noun Baseball A rounded, often wooden club, wider and heavier at the hitting end and tapering at the handle, used to strike the ball.
  • noun A club used in cricket, having a broad, flat-surfaced hitting end and a distinct, narrow handle.
  • noun The racket used in various games, such as table tennis or racquets.
  • intransitive verb To hit with or as if with a bat.
  • intransitive verb To cause (a run) to be scored while at bat.
  • intransitive verb To have (a certain percentage) as a batting average.
  • intransitive verb Informal To discuss or consider at length.
  • intransitive verb To use a bat.
  • intransitive verb To have a turn at bat.
  • intransitive verb Slang To wander about aimlessly.
  • idiom (at bat) Taking one's turn to bat, as in baseball or cricket.
  • idiom (go to bat for) To give assistance to; defend.
  • idiom (right off the bat) Without hesitation; immediately.
  • transitive verb To wink or flutter.
  • idiom (not bat an eye/eyelash) To show no emotion; appear unaffected.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To beat; hit; strike.
  • In base-ball and similar games, to strike the ball: as, he bats well.
  • To bate or flutter, as in the phrase to bat the eyes, that is, wink.
  • noun A pack-saddle: only in composition, as bathorse, batman, etc.
  • noun See batz.
  • noun A wing-handed, wing-footed flying mammal, of the order Chiroptera (which see).
  • noun Same as tical.
  • noun A measure of land formerly used in South Wales; a perch of 11 feet square.
  • noun A heavy stick or club; formerly, a walking-stick.
  • noun The wooden club with which the players in base-ball, cricket, and similar games bat or drive the ball.
  • noun A batsman or batter.
  • noun A blow as with a bat or baton: as, he received a bat in the face.
  • noun A tool made of beech, used by plumbers in dressing and flatting sheet-lead.
  • noun A rammer used by founders.
  • noun A blade used for beating or scutching hemp or flax.
  • noun A piece of brick having one end entire; hence, any portion of a brick; a brickbat.
  • noun A kind of sun-dried brick.
  • noun Shale; hardened clay, but not fire-clay: same as bind, 2. Also spelled batt.
  • noun In hat-making, a felted mass of fur, or of hair and wool. Two such masses are required to form the body of a hat. Also spelled batt.
  • noun A continuous wad of cotton from the batting-machine, ready for carding; also, a sheet of cotton wadding or batting. See batting.
  • noun In ceramics: A flexible sheet of gelatin used in transferring impressions to the biscuit.
  • noun A shelf or slab of baked clay used to support pieces of biscuit which have been painted, and are being fired again. See enamel-kiln.
  • noun Rate; speed; style.
  • noun A Siamese silver coin, the same as the tical.
  • noun Same as bath.
  • noun A paddle or blade in a coal-pulverizer. These bats are carried on rapidly rotating arms, and break the coal into very fine particles.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration of Middle English bakke, of Scandinavian origin.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably from batter, spree.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, perhaps partly of Celtic origin and partly from Old French batte, pounding implement, flail (from batre, to beat; see batter).]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably a variant of bate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Dialectal variant (akin to Swedish dialect natt-batta) of Middle English bakke, balke, from Scandinavian (compare Old Swedish natbakka, Old Danish nathbakkæ 'night-flapper', Old Norse leðrblaka 'leather-flapper').

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English batt

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French bât, from Old French bast, from Vulgar Latin *bastum, form of *bastāre (“to carry”), from Late Greek *bastân, from Ancient Greek  (bastázein, "to lift, carry").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly a variant of bate.


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  • Tab in reverse.

    November 2, 2007

  • The Bat

    Theodore Roethke

    By day the bat is cousin to the mouse.

    He likes the attic of an aging house.

    His fingers make a hat about his head.

    His pulse beat is so slow we think him dead.

    He loops in crazy figures half the night

    Among the trees that face the corner light.

    But when he brushes up against a screen,

    We are afraid of what our eyes have seen:

    For something is amiss or out of place

    When mice with wings can wear a human face.

    from Collected poems of Theodore Roethke

    My Doubleday, 1938

    January 27, 2008

  • Great poem. Thanks, Treeseed. :-)

    January 27, 2008

  • The McDonnell XP-67. More on Wikipedia.

    December 30, 2008