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[bat-muh n] /ˈbæt mən/
noun, plural batmen. (in the British army)
a soldier assigned to an officer as a servant.
Origin of batman
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. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for batman


noun (pl) -men
an officer's personal servant in any of the armed forces
Word Origin
C18: from Old French bat, bast, from Medieval Latin bastum packsaddle


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


John. 1801–39, a pioneer who selected the site of the city of Melbourne
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
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Word Origin and History for batman

"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 Old French bast (Modern French bât), from Late Latin bastum (see baton). Hence also batwoman (1941). The comic book hero dates from 1939.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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batman in Culture

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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