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bats

[bats] /bæts/
adjective, Slang.
1.
insane; crazy:
He's gone bats.
Origin
1915-1920
1915-20; see bat2, -s3

bat1

[bat] /bæt/
noun
1.
Sports.
  1. the wooden club used in certain games, as baseball and cricket, to strike the ball.
  2. a racket, especially one used in badminton or table tennis.
  3. a whip used by a jockey.
  4. the act of using a club or racket in a game.
  5. the right or turn to use a club or racket.
2.
a heavy stick, club, or cudgel.
3.
Informal. a blow, as with a bat.
4.
any fragment of brick or hardened clay.
5.
Masonry. a brick cut transversely so as to leave one end whole.
6.
British Slang. speed; rate of motion or progress, especially the pace of the stroke or step of a race.
7.
Slang. a spree; binge:
to go on a bat.
8.
Ceramics.
  1. a sheet of gelatin or glue used in bat printing.
  2. a slab of moist clay.
  3. a ledge or shelf in a kiln.
  4. a slab of plaster for holding a piece being modeled or for absorbing excess water from slip.
9.
batt.
verb (used with object), batted, batting.
10.
to strike or hit with or as if with a bat or club.
11.
Baseball. to have a batting average of; hit:
He batted .325 in spring training.
verb (used without object), batted, batting.
12.
Sports.
  1. to strike at the ball with the bat.
  2. to take one's turn as a batter.
13.
Slang. to rush.
Verb phrases
14.
bat around,
  1. Slang. to roam; drift.
  2. Informal. to discuss or ponder; debate:
    We batted the idea around.
  3. Baseball. to have every player in the lineup take a turn at bat during a single inning.
15.
bat in, Baseball. to cause (a run) to be scored by getting a hit:
He batted in two runs with a double to left.
16.
bat out, to do, write, produce, etc., hurriedly:
I have to bat out a term paper before class.
Idioms
17.
at bat, Baseball.
  1. taking one's turn to bat in a game:
    at bat with two men in scoring position.
  2. an instance at bat officially charged to a batter except when the batter is hit by a pitch, receives a base on balls, is interfered with by the catcher, or makes a sacrifice hit or sacrifice fly:
    two hits in three at bats.
18.
bat the breeze. breeze1 (def 11).
19.
go to bat for, Informal. to intercede for; vouch for; defend:
to go to bat for a friend.
20.
right off the bat, Informal. at once; without delay:
They asked me to sing right off the bat.
Origin
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English bat, bot, batte, Old English batt, perhaps < Celtic; compare Irish, Scots Gaelic bat, bata staff, cudgel; (v.) Middle English batten, partly from the noun, partly < Old French batre; see batter1
Synonyms
10. knock, wallop, swat, smack, sock, slug; clout, clobber.

bat2

[bat] /bæt/
noun
1.
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
2.
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.
3.
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
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 forms
batlike, adjective

bat3

[bat] /bæt/
verb (used with object), batted, batting.
1.
to blink; wink; flutter.
Idioms
2.
not bat an eye, to show no emotion or surprise; maintain a calm exterior:
The murderer didn't bat an eye when the jury announced its verdict of guilty.
Origin
1605-15; variant of bate2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bats
  • Even without the forced perspective, it was the size of one of those toy bats that kids use for whiffle ball.
  • Over and through it all went the bats, heeding it not at all.
  • There are cavalry stables, where lights burn all night long to protect the horses from the vampire bats.
  • bats employ a sonar system that allows them to catch prey under the cover of darkness.
  • She became a connoisseur of sounds: bats clicking, katydids scraping and frogs croaking.
  • Some small birds and bats are endothermic for part of a day or part of the year but ectothermic during other parts.
  • Natural reservoir for emerging viruses may be bats.
  • bats, along with other animals that employ echolocation, rely on their ears more than their eyes for orientation and navigation.
  • The bats could avoid jamming each other's frequencies if one of them would shift the pitch of its echo.
  • Baseball officials are noticing more and more broken bats--and injuries.
British Dictionary definitions for bats

bats

/bæts/
adjective
1.
(informal) crazy; very eccentric
Word Origin
from bats-in-the-belfry (sense 2)

bat1

/bæt/
noun
1.
any of various types of club with a handle, used to hit the ball in certain sports, such as cricket, baseball, or table tennis
2.
a flat round club with a short handle, resembling a table-tennis bat, used by a man on the ground to guide the pilot of an aircraft when taxiing
3.
(cricket) short for batsman
4.
any stout stick, esp a wooden one
5.
(informal) a blow from such a stick
6.
(Austral) a small board used for tossing the coins in the game of two-up
7.
(US & Canadian, slang) a drinking spree; binge
8.
(slang) speed; rate; pace: they went at a fair bat
9.
another word for batting (sense 1)
10.
(cricket) carry one's bat, (of an opening batsman) to reach the end of an innings without being dismissed
11.
off one's own bat
  1. of one's own accord; without being prompted by someone else
  2. by one's own unaided efforts
12.
(US & Canadian, informal) off the bat, right off the bat, immediately; without hesitation
verb bats, batting, batted
13.
(transitive) to strike with or as if with a bat
14.
(intransitive) (sport) (of a player or a team) to take a turn at batting
See also bat around
Word Origin
Old English batt club, probably of Celtic origin; compare Gaelic bat, Russian bat

bat2

/bæt/
noun
1.
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
2.
(slang) an irritating or eccentric woman (esp in the phrase old bat)
3.
blind as a bat, having extremely poor eyesight
4.
(informal) have bats in the belfry, have bats in one's belfry, to be mad or eccentric; have strange ideas
5.
(slang) like a bat out of hell, very quickly
Derived Forms
batlike, adjective
Word Origin
C14 bakke, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse ledhrblaka leather-flapper, Swedish dialect natt-batta night bat

bat3

/bæt/
verb (transitive) bats, batting, batted
1.
to wink or flutter (one's eyelids)
2.
(informal) not bat an eye, not bat an eyelid, to show no surprise or concern
Word Origin
C17: probably a variant of bate²
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 bats

bat

n.

"a stick, a club," Old English *batt "cudgel," perhaps from Celtic (cf. Irish and Gaelic bat, bata "staff, cudgel"), influenced by Old French batte, from Late Latin battre "beat;" all from PIE root *bhat- "to strike." Also "a lump, piece" (mid-14c.), as in brickbat. As a kind of paddle used to play cricket, it is attested from 1706.

Phrase right off the bat is 1888, also hot from the bat (1888), probably a baseball metaphor, but cricket is possible as a source; there is an early citation from Australia (in an article about slang): "Well, it is a vice you'd better get rid of then. Refined conversation is a mark of culture. Let me hear that kid use slang again, and I'll give it to him right off the bat. I'll wipe up the floor with him. I'll ---" ["The Australian Journal," November 1888].

flying mammal (order Chiroptera), 1570s, a dialectal alteration of Middle English bakke (early 14c.), which is probably related to Old Swedish natbakka, Old Danish nathbakkæ "night bat," and Old Norse leðrblaka "leather flapper," so original sense is likely "flapper." The shift from -k- to -t- may have come through confusion of bakke with Latin blatta "moth, nocturnal insect."

Old English word for the animal was hreremus, from hreran "to shake" (see rare (adj.2)), and rattle-mouse is attested from late 16c., an old dialectal word for "bat." As a contemptuous term for an old woman, perhaps a suggestion of witchcraft (cf. fly-by-night), or from bat as "prostitute who plies her trade by night" [Farmer, who calls it "old slang" and finds French equivalent "night swallow" (hirondelle de nuit) "more poetic"].

v.

"to move the eyelids," 1847, American English, from earlier sense of "flutter as a hawk" (1610s), a variant of bate (v.2) on the notion of fluttering wings. Related: Batted; batting.

"to hit with a bat," mid-15c., from bat (n.1). Related: Batted; batting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bats

bats

adjective

Crazy; nuts: He was grinning like he was bats/ funnier than you'd expect, fairly batty ( first form 1920+, second form 1900+)

Related Terms

have bats in one's belfry


bat

noun
  1. A prostitute; a loose woman •Probably so called because she works at night (1600s+)
  2. old bat
  3. A woman, esp an ugly one (1880s+)
  4. A spree; carousal; binge (1840s+)
Related Terms

go to bat against, go to bat for, have bats in one's belfry, like a bat out of hell, right off the bat, take off like a bigass bird


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for bats

BAT

  1. Bachelor of Arts in Teaching
  2. best available technology
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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bats in the Bible

The Hebrew word (atalleph') so rendered (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18) implies "flying in the dark." The bat is reckoned among the birds in the list of unclean animals. To cast idols to the "moles and to the bats" means to carry them into dark caverns or desolate places to which these animals resort (Isa. 2:20), i.e., to consign them to desolation or ruin.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with bats
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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