noun, plural batmen. (in the British army)
a soldier assigned to an officer as a servant.

1745–55; short for bat-horse man, equivalent to bat < French bât packsaddle (< Vulgar Latin *bastum, noun derivative of *bastāre to carry < Late Greek *bastân, re-formation of Greek bastázein to lift, carry) + horse + man1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
batman (ˈbætmən)
n , pl -men
an officer's personal servant in any of the armed forces
[C18: from Old French bat, bast, from Medieval Latin bastum packsaddle]

Batman1 (ˈbætˌmæn)
a character in an American comic strip and several films who secretly assumes a batlike costume in order to fight crime

Batman2 (ˈbætmən)
John. 1801--39, a pioneer who selected the site of the city of Melbourne

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"officer's servant," originally military title for "man in charge of a bat-horse and its load," 1755, from bat "pack-saddle" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. bast (Mod.Fr. bât), from L.L. bastum (see baton). Hence also batwoman (1941).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Batman definition

A comic strip character that first appeared in 1939. With his faithful sidekick Robin (the Boy Wonder), Batman fights crime in Gotham City, foiling evil villains such as the Joker and the Riddler.

Note: Batman's adventures have been widely adapted for television and a number of motion pictures.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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