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mid-15c., "bat-like implement used in washing clothes," of unknown origin, perhaps from Old Provençal batedor, Spanish batidor "beater, bat," from batir "to beat;" perhaps blended with Middle English betel "hammer, mallet." As a trype of racket used in a game, from 1590s.
children's game played by two persons using small rackets called battledores, which are made of parchment, plastic, or rows of gut or nylon stretched across wooden frames, and shuttlecocks, made of a base of some light material, such as cork, with trimmed feathers fixed around the top. Players try to bat the shuttlecock back and forth as many times as possible without allowing it to fall to the ground. Ancient Greek drawings represent a game almost identical with battledore and shuttlecock, and it has been popular in China, Japan, India, and Thailand for at least 2,000 years. It has been played in Europe for centuries. Badminton is a further development of the game