at bat


1 [bat]
the wooden club used in certain games, as baseball and cricket, to strike the ball.
a racket, especially one used in badminton or table tennis.
a whip used by a jockey.
the act of using a club or racket in a game.
the right or turn to use a club or racket.
a heavy stick, club, or cudgel.
Informal. a blow, as with a bat.
any fragment of brick or hardened clay.
Masonry. a brick cut transversely so as to leave one end whole.
British Slang. speed; rate of motion or progress, especially the pace of the stroke or step of a race.
Slang. a spree; binge: to go on a bat.
a sheet of gelatin or glue used in bat printing.
a slab of moist clay.
a ledge or shelf in a kiln.
a slab of plaster for holding a piece being modeled or for absorbing excess water from slip.
verb (used with object), batted, batting.
to strike or hit with or as if with a bat or club.
Baseball. to have a batting average of; hit: He batted .325 in spring training.
verb (used without object), batted, batting.
to strike at the ball with the bat.
to take one's turn as a batter.
Slang. to rush.
Verb phrases
bat around,
Slang. to roam; drift.
Informal. to discuss or ponder; debate: We batted the idea around.
Baseball. to have every player in the lineup take a turn at bat during a single inning.
bat in, Baseball. to cause (a run) to be scored by getting a hit: He batted in two runs with a double to left.
bat out, to do, write, produce, etc., hurriedly: I have to bat out a term paper before class.
at bat, Baseball.
taking one's turn to bat in a game: at bat with two men in scoring position.
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.
bat the breeze. breeze1 ( def 11 ).
go to bat for, Informal. to intercede for; vouch for; defend: to go to bat for a friend.
right off the bat, Informal. at once; without delay: They asked me to sing right off the bat.

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

10. knock, wallop, swat, smack, sock, slug; clout, clobber. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
bat1 (bæt)
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.  slang (US), (Canadian) a drinking spree; binge
8.  slang speed; rate; pace: they went at a fair bat
9.  another word for batting
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
 a.  of one's own accord; without being prompted by someone else
 b.  by one's own unaided efforts
12.  informal (US), (Canadian) off the bat, right off the bat immediately; without hesitation
vb , bats, batting, batted
13.  (tr) to strike with or as if with a bat
14.  (intr) sport (of a player or a team) to take a turn at batting
[Old English batt club, probably of Celtic origin; compare Gaelic bat, Russian bat]

bat2 (bæt)
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: 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
Related: chiropteran
[C14 bakke, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse ledhrblaka leather-flapper, Swedish dialect natt-batta night bat]

bat3 (bæt)
vb , 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
[C17: probably a variant of bate²]

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

"a stick, a club," O.E. *batt "cudgel," perhaps from Celtic (cf. Ir. and Gael. bat, bata "staff, cudgel"), infl. by O.Fr. batte, from L.L. battre "beat;" all from PIE base *bhat- "to strike." As a kind of paddle used to play cricket, it is attested from 1706.

"flying mammal" (order Chiroptera), 1570s, a dialect alteration of M.E. bakke, which is probably related to O.Swed. natbakka, O.Dan. nathbakkæ "night bat," and O.N. leðrblaka "leather flapper," so original sense is likely "flapper." The shift from -k- to -t- may have come through confusion
of bakke with L. blatta "moth, nocturnal insect." O.E. word for the animal was hreremus, from hreran "to shake." 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 Fr. equivalent "night swallow" (hirondelle de nuit) "more poetic"].

"to move the eyelids," 1847, Amer.Eng., from earlier sense of "flutter as a hawk" (1610s), a variant of bate (2) on the notion of fluttering wings.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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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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Bible Dictionary

Bat definition

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

at bat

Taking one's turn. For example, At this conference, with so many interruptions, it's hard to tell which speaker is at bat, or I was nervous while waiting to testify, but once at bat I felt better. This idiom, from baseball, was already being transferred to other enterprises by the 1880s. Also see on deck.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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