Main definitions of bat in English

: bat1bat2bat3

bat1

noun

  • 1An implement with a handle and a solid surface, typically of wood, used for hitting the ball in games such as cricket, baseball, and table tennis.

    as modifier ‘a cricket bat’
    • ‘In spring play Joyner showed good bat control and played solid defense.’
    • ‘Depending on the type of game, we used wood or plastic bats.’
    • ‘Well, it turns out nobody officially tests balls hit by aluminum bats under game conditions.’
    • ‘Streaks and slumps are as common to baseball as bats and gloves.’
    • ‘Umpires can remove a bat from the game if a bat has exceeded the pine tar limitation.’
    • ‘He generates the best bat speed in the game and hits balls harder than any other batter.’
    • ‘He fields his position well and can handle the bat, not only bunting but putting the ball in play to help move runners.’
    • ‘He's one of the fastest players in baseball, and he handles the bat well for a young hitter.’
    • ‘He's one of the greatest sportsmen that ever picked up a mallet or a cricket bat.’
    • ‘Crosby handles the bat well, is an above-average defensive player and is a candidate for A.L. Rookie of the Year.’
    • ‘There is no evidence of an ancestor of Billiards prior to this time, unless you do lower your criteria to count all the other games played with bats, balls and skittles.’
    • ‘Not every child gets a cricket bat, rugby ball, pair of football boots or spikes as a Christmas or birthday present.’
    • ‘You hit for average, you hit for power, you had the quickest bat in the game.’
    • ‘I can feel the tingle in my joints as the first batter swings three baseball bats as he approaches the plate before throwing the two bad ones away.’
    • ‘For those of you who are trying to figure out what cricket is, it is a sport like baseball with bats, balls & players but the rules and ways are somewhat different.’
    • ‘One day in grade 5, Paul brought a baseball bat and ball along to school.’
    • ‘He tried to play again in September but couldn't swing a bat or catch a ball.’
    • ‘I can almost feel the adrenaline rising inside of me as I held a dodge ball or a baseball bat in my hand.’
    • ‘He says the cold weather also helps because it makes him concentrate on hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the bat.’
    • ‘Okay, I just found out that baseball and cricket bats can be aluminium, but you get my point.’
    truncheon, club, cudgel, bludgeon, stick, mace
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A turn at playing with a bat.
      • ‘But we didn't start well with the bat, and there wasn't enough hardness in the middle order.’
      • ‘The depth of quality is there with the bat and it is there with the ball, but too many are on the bench.’
      • ‘The first was left and the second caused a defensive prod in the middle of the bat, bringing loud applause from the crowd.’
      • ‘To have three or four men around the bat at all times will be an ideal situation with two spinners bowling.’
      • ‘The way we started with the bat was outstanding here and we've done everything to ensure a win.’
      • ‘Today it was the turn of Cathryn Fitzpatrick to wreak havoc with the bat.’
      • ‘Agarkar had a disappointing match as a bowler but did reasonably well with the bat in the second innings.’
      • ‘Our bowlers were doing the job but we were failing with the bat and we didn't stick to our plan and didn't have wickets in the end.’
      • ‘Ironically, in our innings we only called upon three of our bats.’
      • ‘He will also play an important role down the order with the bat.’
    2. 1.2 A person batting, especially in cricket; a batsman.
      ‘the team's opening bat’
      • ‘Opening bat Matthew Hayden is less interested in rising deliveries than in his rising soufflés; forget his sticky wicket, he wants sticky toffee.’
      • ‘When Hands was introduced to the attack, the home side were under pressure with fielders surrounding the bat.’
      • ‘Capped for the first time as an opening bat in Port Elizabeth, De Villiers took over from Tsolekile behind the stumps for the second Test at Kingsmead.’
      • ‘He is a right-hand bat and right medium fast bowler.’
      • ‘Does any other team have opening bats who spend more of their time swishing at flies outside the off stump?’
      • ‘Schenke is an opening left-handed bat and right arm medium pace bowler from Sydney's Balmain Club.’
      • ‘Both Border and the Australian manager, Bobby Simpson, said they had opposed the selectors' decision to drop Greg Ritchie, leaving only four specialist bats.’
      • ‘Burley-In-Wharfedale opening bat Chris Wheeler smashed his way to 170 against the hapless bowlers of Bardsey last week.’
      • ‘Kenneth Meuleman, an opening bat, played just one test for Australia, scoring 0.’
      • ‘Now you can imagine what I thought when I saw an opening bat by the name of Williamson scoring runs.’
      • ‘Although his 2001 numbers were way down from his monstrous 2000 season, he is by far the best bat on the team.’
      • ‘It is another matter that Dravid is virtually an opening bat already.’
      • ‘He is a right-hand bat and right-arm off-break or medium-pace bowler.’
      • ‘The 28-year-old is a graduate of the Australian Cricket Academy, plays for Queensland and is a right hand bat, right arm medium pace bowler.’
      • ‘Opening bat Ken Coulston paved the way and stayed until the 39th over.’
      • ‘He was as solid as his father and as stolid as his uncle Sadiq: an opening bat who could bowl a useful off-break.’
      • ‘The opening bat, who topped the First Division runs chart with 1,133, is having problems with his hip.’
      • ‘Lo and behold, their opening bat was caught off my bowling.’
    3. 1.3 Each of a pair of objects resembling table tennis bats, used by a person on the ground to guide a taxiing aircraft.
      • ‘All of the manuals reviewed as part of the investigation stated that marshalling bats should be used to minimise the risk of misinterpretation.’
      • ‘This being secure, the wings are leveled by the crew, one crew on the wing, one to hold the tail down (keep the skid off the runway) and one to operate the signal bat, which signals the tow vehicle.’
      • ‘Gliders were retrieved to the launch point by 15cwt Bedford trucks and instructions to the winch driver, a thousand yards away, were given by semaphore bats.’
    4. 1.4 A slab on which pottery is formed, dried, or fired.
      • ‘The precision engineered bat retainer ring is used to fix and centre a bat to a potter.’
      • ‘Simply lift up and the bat will come off the wheel-head without any struggle.’
      • ‘Put the bat, bat side up on a banding wheel and cut off excessive foam with the electric knife.’
      • ‘The wet clay piece is left on the bat; the bat is removed from the wheel head; and the piece remains on the masonite bat for quick drying.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1(of a sports team or player) take the role of hitting rather than throwing the ball.

    ‘Australia reached 263 for 4 after choosing to bat’
    • ‘If he attempts to steal and is thrown out, however, this decreases not only his own chance of scoring but that of every player who will bat in the inning.’
    • ‘In each inning both teams bat, until three of the batters are declared out by either three strikes delivered by the pitcher, or a catch by a fielder.’
    • ‘Frankly, the team batted worse than it did in the first innings at Lahore.’
    • ‘Both batsmen timing the ball with precision, batted with charm and aggression.’
    • ‘You have to consider the weather and, if you are batting last, teams might only set us targets of 150.’
    • ‘Because he bats leadoff, the team needs Offerman to rebound at the plate.’
    • ‘The players need to bat longer innings and bowl accurately with line and direction, to make a good impression in the tournament.’
    • ‘Yesterday, they batted like a team without ambition.’
    • ‘Each member of each of the two teams gets to bat twice, and when it is all over, the side with the most runs is the winner.’
    • ‘If the players batting behind Sheffield really get going, the opposition will have to challenge him.’
    • ‘We almost got out of the inning on our own, but mercifully, the other team had batted through the lineup, which meant it was our turn to bat.’
    • ‘In test cricket, where there are no limits on how long a player may bat, double centuries are considered a major achievement, but they are not all that uncommon.’
    • ‘In his innings Smith faced 287 balls and batted 335 minutes.’
    • ‘The Indian team batted perfectly, bowled like champions and fielded like tigers.’
    • ‘He could bat reasonably well at seven but would be a tremendous addition to a team in batting at eight or nine.’
    • ‘The team that's batting always has two batters on the field at one time. The team in the field always has at least two pitchers, or bowlers.’
    • ‘Normally the bowlers will bowl, the batsmen will bat and everyone will field.’
    • ‘Ellis could wind up playing a major role in the offense batting leadoff.’
    • ‘There was a chart in the October issue showing players who batted below .300 while compiling at least 200 hits in a season.’
    • ‘At present everyone seems to have stronger bowling teams than batting, so they are putting all the batsmen under pressure.’
    1. 1.1bat for" or "go to bat forNorth American informal Defend the interests of; support.
      ‘she turned out to have the law batting for her’
      • ‘And in the past there have been situations where I have had to go into bat for her and defend her when I have brought her out with these friends.’
      • ‘There is always something unnerving about the news media going into bat for their own interests; the moral fervour precludes argument.’
      • ‘I responded a little alarmed to the opposition: ‘Um, I'm not sure you want me batting for you.’’
      • ‘We have kept everyone informed to make sure that we are all batting for Bolton, but they have thrown away an all-party consensus for a photo opportunity.’
      • ‘Roger gives me advice on legal stuff but I really need someone batting for me regarding contracts and that kind of tomfoolery.’
      • ‘Whatever the identity of the plotter, and whomever they were batting for, the aim was simple and consistent: discredit the leadership, destabilise the leader, and stay out of the open.’
      • ‘You talked about there being sketches that you had to really go to bat for.’
      • ‘Jim continues to go to bat for his employees, has negotiated favorable terms with the union, and still manages a booming business.’
      • ‘Half of the names on it were people I'd gone to bat for over time.’
      • ‘He usually gives a virtuoso performance for which the Method school, but not Berthold Brecht, would have given him high marks As a TV performer, he leaves the critics batting for him at best, and horribly confused at worst.’
  • 2with object and adverbial of direction Hit at (someone or something) with the flat of one's hand.

    ‘he batted the flies away’
    • ‘I knew I had to move when I got home from work and found my cat batting around a water bug the size of a hockey puck.’
    • ‘Reaching for the cup with bruised and burned hands, Rebekah touched the smooth, cold metal before the nurse batted her fingers away.’
    • ‘In a series of pictures captured on the periscope's camera, the bear apparently chewed on the rudder, then batted it around.’
    • ‘Torafu tackled it playfully, batting it around.’
    • ‘You have to learn to time your jump to bat down the ball.’
    • ‘Laurie put the small box down on a flat rock and teasingly batted Gil's hand away as he knelt down and tried to reach inside for a sandwich.’
    • ‘‘She finds things to play with, little twigs and stuff, and she bats them around,’ says Larson.’
    • ‘He picked up a sack and a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and batted down a ball at the line.’
    • ‘Mulder was on the sink, watching intently as John Brown batted around what my bleary eyes assumed was a bottlecap or tuft of hair.’
    • ‘They both looked into each other's eyes for long moments before Brian started batting the hanging toys around in front of Destiny and she soon joined in.’
    • ‘I pushed through them like I was running through some forest batting the tree limbs out of the way.’
    • ‘Cresting the top of the hill where Cote d' Abraham ran into the fence, a crowd of several hundred people danced, chanted, drummed, batted a beach ball around, and tossed the occasional tear gas canister back to the cops.’
    • ‘She complained, batting her hands around her face wildly, ‘I'm like, getting all dirty.’’
    • ‘She was pouncing on it, and batting it around, much to the enjoyment of her owner.’
    • ‘He bats them around, knocks them to the floor, and usually leaves them alone.’
    • ‘An inflatable sphere the crowd can bat around for fun.’
    • ‘She turned around, her arm sliding across the surface, but to her dismay, she had accidentally batted a cracked clay pot from the closed covers.’
    • ‘She reached out to touch it, but I batted her fingers away.’
    • ‘She was beckoning to me, looking around anxiously, and I was batting people out of the way, but as I approached I saw her look up at someone beside her.’
    • ‘Also, whenever we'd crack ice cubes, we'd toss one on the linoleum floor and he'd bat it around and he'd play hockey with it.’

Phrases

  • bat a thousand

    • informal Be very successful; achieve perfection.

      ‘with tortellini in brodo, I batted a thousand—both kids had seconds’
      • ‘And right now, I don't think they are batting a thousand.’
      • ‘You know, John Kerry is apparently batting a thousand in these debates, at least as far as our latest poll is concerned.’
      • ‘On the whole, I give him a lot of points for trying to ask the right questions and can excuse him when he doesn't bat a thousand.’
      • ‘Voss knows he's batting a thousand with his marketing efforts with each new customer who walks in the door.’
      • ‘To the believers who were present, Edward was clearly batting a thousand, and no price would have been too much to pay.’
      • ‘But batting a thousand can mean good legal work or cherry picking opportunities.’
      • ‘And the market always bats last and it always bats a thousand.’
      • ‘He batted a thousand for the Marine Corps and the United States.’
      • ‘Rarely does a film get everything right, but The Hit manages to bat a thousand in just about every category.’
      • ‘And Mother Nature always bats last, and she always bats a thousand.’
  • bat for the other team (or side)

    • humorous Be homosexual.

      ‘I'm sorry to break the news to you ladies but I think he may bat for the other team’
      • ‘Got my gaydar going - he's batting for the other team.’
      • ‘Funny though, I always thought she batted for the other team.’
      • ‘I am seriously considering switching to batting for the other side.’
      • ‘I swear all the good-looking guys are batting for the other team.’
      • ‘I've known several "straight" married men who decided after much soul-searching to bat for the other side.’
      • ‘This news took me by surprise because I had assumed that he batted for the other side.’
  • off one's own bat

    • At one's own instigation; spontaneously.

      ‘when he didn't chase the dog she came back off her own bat’
      • ‘Simpson didn't go public entirely off his own bat.’
      • ‘I haven't invested in any shares off my own bat, though, mainly because I don't know what I'm talking about.’
      • ‘But they do not support a procedure in which the home secretary can make orders off his own bat in urgent cases.’
      • ‘Middle-ranking executives were encouraged to take risks off their own bat.’
      • ‘He's doing it off his own bat, which I'm really happy with.’
      • ‘If others wanted to go they'd have to do so off their own bat,’ the spokesperson added.’
      • ‘Why should me doing it myself, off my own bat, make it such a big joke?’
      • ‘He may well be pursuing that strategy off his own bat, however.’
      • ‘And the politicians did not do it off their own bat, they were elected to do it.’
      • ‘I'm betting you wouldn't consider, off your own bat, changing the tyres, adding a turbo charger, adding a stereo or messing about with the engine, even if you know what you're doing, and even more so if you don't.’
      alone, all alone, on one's own, in a solitary state, separately, singly, solitarily, unaccompanied, solo
      View synonyms
  • right off the bat

    • At the very beginning; straight away.

      ‘I managed to have a disagreement with him right off the bat’
      • ‘‘It's too good of a question for me to answer right off the bat,’ he says.’
      • ‘I don't know exactly how many, but I can think right off the bat about three or more.’
      • ‘I feel like if I was being set up, he would probably have just handed me the information right off the bat.’
      • ‘They believe that they are somehow entitled to a certain level of respect right off the bat just because they are athletes.’
      • ‘These kids were raised on e-mail, and you'll lose them right off the bat if they can't apply online.’
      • ‘He just comes out with it right off the bat and lets you know what the truth is.’
      • ‘Well, let me say right off the bat that I am pretty impressed.’
      • ‘Installation is straightforward, and right off the bat, you got your options on how to setup the graphics.’
      • ‘Companies often don't ‘know the full scope of the problem right off the bat,’ he says.’
      • ‘You just can't expect them to have a major impact right off the bat.’
      • ‘She didn't call him right off the bat, she drove around for a little while, contemplating whether she wanted to or not.’
      • ‘And maybe he did, in which case he should be taking responsibility for it, right off the bat.’
      • ‘I'll tell you this right off the bat: I liked it, and it held up well under repeated viewings.’
      • ‘I know this is a scam right off the bat, because I'm not anyone's employee.’
      • ‘Pretty much, families will give you that indication right off the bat.’
      • ‘I suppose that I should say right off the bat that I'm probably not the target audience for this movie.’
      • ‘The requirement to write HTML would probably exclude most people right off the bat.’
      • ‘I'm not just gonna take them straight to the best spots right off the bat.’
      • ‘If you're an unknown act on a tiny label releasing your first album, you might want to make a strong impression right off the bat.’
      • ‘There was, admittedly, a vague sense of familiarity there, but nothing she could recall right off the bat.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • bat around (or about)

    • Travel widely, frequently, or casually.

      ‘I'm always batting around between England and America’
      • ‘Obviously, as we have kind of batted around endlessly, they're looking for evidence in that truck.’
      • ‘Why couldn't I get a van and bat around the country doing whatever it is I do?’
      • ‘Clean clothes and other junk will then be stowed at main station and that'll leave me time to bat around town until 1710 when the train to Stockholm departs.’
      • ‘He was an English immigrant who batted around the United States in a random fashion until in 1876 he sold the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad on the idea of opening clean and wholesome restaurants at their rail depots.’
      resolve, settle, sort out, straighten out, iron out, reconcile, disentangle, clarify, clear up, talk through, confer about, debate, exchange views about, exchange views on, chew over, air, ventilate, argue out, argue the pros and cons of
      View synonyms
  • bat something around (or about)

    • Discuss an idea or proposal casually or idly.

      ‘we bat around a wide variety of issues’
      • ‘The idea that movie piracy can be reduced by simultaneous theater and DVD releases has been batted around for a little while now.’
      • ‘Now, military planners have batted around the idea of a missile defense system.’
      • ‘We've batted around the same idea since 1990, when we first conceptualised a method to enhance the ability of a frail pensioner to remain in the family home for as long as possible.’
      • ‘Edwards has a great opening here, but he loses momentum by going back to tax policy, which was (I think) dully batted around on the last question.’
      • ‘Imagination projects are managed, in part, through weekly meetings - meetings in which ideas are batted around, problems are raised, and progress on deadlines is assessed.’
      • ‘Talk to intelligence professionals about their work, and you will hear them bat around this term: tradecraft.’
      • ‘We're going to bat around vice-presidential possibilities here for a moment.’
      • ‘Junior was sure that Frank wanted to hang around and gloat, but hearing their own names being batted around on the radio program clearly made them uncomfortable.’
      • ‘For a couple of hours different ideas were batted around to see how strong they were, but none stood up to Jen's standards.’
      • ‘According to Smith, there have been theories batted around for decades on an airframe shape that can reduce or eliminate a sonic boom, but they have never been tested and proven.’
      • ‘It's been nice batting ideas around with you.’
      • ‘I like batting around ideas, I like playing devil's advocate, I enjoy being tested by someone else playing devil's advocate.’
      • ‘Some of these issues have been batted about for years with little change.’
      • ‘I like to bat things around with colleagues and then come to a conclusion’.’
      • ‘We're going to bat around some of the nicknames we've come up with so far.’
      • ‘We have got a couple of sports talk show hosts joining us to bat around the topic.’
      • ‘We all know how often charges of lying are batted about over what ends up being an honest disagreement.’
      • ‘‘The words genius and great are batted around so much today they lose their true meaning, but Shoe was such a person,’ Gosden said.’
      • ‘It wasn't too long ago that the idea of common currency was seriously being batted about.’
      • ‘‘There are still different scenarios being batted around,’ Greenblatt says.’

Origin

Late Old English batt ‘club, stick, staff’, perhaps partly from Old French batte, from battre ‘to strike’.

Pronunciation

bat

/bat/

Main definitions of bat in English

: bat1bat2bat3

bat2

noun

  • 1A mainly nocturnal mammal capable of sustained flight, with membranous wings that extend between the fingers and limbs.

    • ‘A monogamous mating system is unusual in bats and in mammals as a whole.’
    • ‘In the case of the fruit bats, the bats are crucial for dispersing the seeds contained within the fruits.’
    • ‘By this convention, birds are considered Reptilia, just like bats are mammals and snails are mollusks.’
    • ‘These predators target their prey either at the roost or while the bats are in flight.’
    • ‘The wings of bats and insects are therefore analogous because they both function for flight, but are derived from different primitive structures.’
    • ‘The storm destroyed many of the blossoms and rain forest fruits that flying foxes eat, forcing the bats to alter their normally nocturnal habits.’
    • ‘They eat fish, mammals, birds, bats, invertebrates, carrion and some fruit.’
    • ‘Small and furry, bats are the only mammals to have achieved powered flight.’
    • ‘The world's smallest mammal, the bumblebee bat, is found exclusively in a small number of karst caves in Thailand.’
    • ‘Like these bats, honey possums feed by probing flowers with their tongues.’
    • ‘Monkeys, tapirs, sloths, anteaters, and bats abound, all in an area the size of West Virginia.’
    • ‘They take other small rodents, shrews, rabbits, gophers, bats, and muskrats as well.’
    • ‘They feed on insects and the present increase in temperatures has meant more insects on the wing and therefore some bats are also becoming more common and extending their range.’
    • ‘Nearly a quarter of all mammal species are bats, and they are the only winged animals in the class Mammalia.’
    • ‘By contrast, the wings of birds and bats are superficially similar, but their internal structure is quite different.’
    • ‘Let's consider how we might explain the existence in bats of a membrane between their phalanges that enable them to fly.’
    • ‘These bats are capable of hovering, an activity that may have led to selection for the small size of this species.’
    • ‘Between them, rodents and bats make up more than 60 percent of all mammal species.’
    • ‘The placental mammals include such diverse forms as whales, bats, elephants, shrews, and armadillos.’
    • ‘And among mammals, bats live the longest relative to body size.’
  • 2informal A woman regarded as unattractive or unpleasant.

    ‘some deranged old bat’
    • ‘After all, the old bat has only been told to rest by her doctors and give up public speaking tours.’
    • ‘She's a lot nicer than some of the old bats in here.’
    • ‘Ok, now that I've put that side of her character in perspective, you must be wondering why I like the old bat?’
    • ‘So how's about you head over there right this very second and wish the old bat a happy birthday, hmmm?’
    • ‘But then the old bat did go on a bit - 30 minutes of complaining after the effect when last night she could have just asked us to quiet down and then have had no cause for complaint.’
    harridan, dragon, crone, witch, hag, gorgon, ogress, hellcat, harpy, tartar, martinet, termagant, virago, fury
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • have bats in the (or one's) belfry

    • informal Be eccentric or mad.

      ‘I'm goofy, I'm daft, there's bats in my belfry’
      • ‘The rumor is that Maggie has bats in her belfry?’
      • ‘All I know is that if I had bats in my belfry I'd buy a couple of big strings of garlic (I hate vampires) and a big fly swatter.’
      • ‘Not sure if he had bats in his belfry.’
      • ‘The man obviously had bats in his belfry for making such a ludicrous statement.’
      • ‘It looks like I have bats in my belfry with that Halloween decoration hanging on the guillotine.’
      insane, mentally ill, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, sick in the head, not together, crazy, crazed, lunatic, non compos mentis, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, stark mad, manic, frenzied, raving, distraught, frantic, hysterical, delirious, psychotic, psychopathic, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare, away with the fairies, foaming at the mouth
      View synonyms
  • like a bat out of hell

    • informal Very fast and wildly.

      ‘he was driving like a bat out of hell’
      ‘like a bat out of hell he flung himself at the man’
      • ‘I threw his t-shirt back in his face, got back in my car, and drove home like a bat out of hell, screaming the whole way.’
      • ‘‘I don't think he'll mind if I take his car,’ she said as she tore off into the night like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘The car flew out of the tenth row like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘I ski like a bat out of hell, and I have recently taken up running in an attempt to cut down on smoking.’
      • ‘Unlike the rest of the week, I leave the studio as soon as the show's finished and I'm in the car and away like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘The first step is to get down to the Old Port, onto the bike path that runs alongside the Lachine Canal and head west like a bat out of hell - or a meandering tortoise, if you prefer.’
      • ‘On top of that when I called the spa to see if you were there they said that you ran out of there like a bat out of hell and assaulted some guy in a car!’
      • ‘He noticed Ame's eyes lock on him and quickly turned on his heel and ran like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘I was thinking about this and frowning at my mutinous hands when Connor suddenly burst into the kitchen, running like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘Had that been Kina who'd sped past him like a bat out of hell?’
      • ‘‘No’ Sean replied as he proceeded to drive like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘It's pretty great, actually, from a certain perspective. I mean, it starts going like a bat out of hell, and keeps accelerating.’
      • ‘And then, just as suddenly, he was dashing down the hallway, away from her and the hospital like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘Scrambling out of bed and heading for the door, distantly noticing that I still wore the same dark outfit as last night, including my shoes, I took off down the hall like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘We set him off from Louth and he went like a bat out of hell, breaking speed limits, using the outside lane and he made it with two minutes to spare.’
      • ‘He nodded and was about to turn around when I said his name again, ‘Jonathan, why were you running like a bat out of hell when I arrived?’’
      • ‘They can go like a bat out of hell on their own off-street tracks like regular trains.’
      • ‘‘Well, you took off like a bat out of hell back there,’ he says.’
      • ‘Holly grabbed it and bolted out the door like a bat out of hell, she ran down the beach and up the marbled steps to the docks where men were lifting heavy crates of food and other supplies onto the ship.’
      • ‘So there I was, for half an hour, going like a bat out of hell on the exercise machine!’
      quickly, fast, swiftly, speedily, at speed, at full speed, at the speed of light, post-haste, hotfoot, at full tilt, as fast as one's legs can carry one, at a gallop, expeditiously, briskly, promptly
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: alteration, perhaps by association with medieval Latin batta, blacta, of Middle English bakke, of Scandinavian origin.

Pronunciation

bat

/bat/

Main definitions of bat in English

: bat1bat2bat3

bat3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Flutter (one's eyelashes or eyelids), typically in a flirtatious manner.

    ‘she batted her long dark eyelashes at him’
    • ‘She was batting her eyelashes at Rick in an extremely flirtatious manner.’
    • ‘I ignored the flurry of giggles and batting eyelashes when I spotted Lily, Roberto, and Trace.’
    • ‘Jake took Mariah's hand in his own, batting his eyelashes at her.’
    • ‘They were batting their eyelashes a million times a second and showing off their best seductive smiles… yuk!’
    • ‘She asked flirtatiously, batting her mischievous eyelashes at him.’
    • ‘So be careful who you bat your eyelashes at, even in jest.’
    • ‘His lower lip trembled mockingly as he batted his eyelashes.’
    • ‘I asked breathily, batting my eyelashes at him.’
    • ‘She batted her eyelashes in the most flirtatious manner she could muster.’
    • ‘I asked, trying to make myself look as attractive as possible by batting my eyelashes wildly.’
    • ‘She's looking at back at me gently, batting those thick eyelashes.’
    • ‘There was only one problem - Amanda had started batting her eyelashes at him, too.’
    • ‘To Todd she spoke more flirtatiously, batting her eyelashes and pressing up against the locker next to his.’
    • ‘I mocked as innocently as possible, batting my eyelashes as furiously as I could.’
    • ‘Olivia looked up and batted her big brown eyelashes at the clerk.’
    • ‘Casey smiles, and puts his arm back around him, batting his long eyelashes.’
    • ‘The music started up again and Helda and Sileda both stared up at William expectantly, batting their eyelashes.’
    • ‘Kya smiled at him and leaned back, batting her dark eyelashes and smiling.’
    • ‘Kayla flashed him a flirtatious grin, batting her eyes a little.’
    • ‘Meena said sweetly, batting her long eyelashes.’
    flutter, quiver, vibrate, tremble, wobble, shiver, shudder, spasm, jerk, twitch, flap, wink, blink, open and shut
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • not bat an eyelid

    • informal Show (or showing) no surprise or concern.

      ‘she fell down and grazed her knees, but she didn't bat an eyelid’
      • ‘But to my surprise, the kids didn't bat an eyelid.’
      • ‘In fact the only person who doesn't bat an eyelid when he belts out his songs in the living room is their six-month-old daughter, Evie.’
      • ‘She didn't bat an eye; she just kept chatting, telling him where she lived and walking him all the way to the subway.’
      • ‘We sang Christmas and Hannakuh songs in the winter concert and nobody batted an eyelash.’
      • ‘Michael didn't bat an eyelid, but poured her another one, then led her into the spacious dining room to dance.’
      • ‘It was a process that took place in the modern world and no one batted an eyelash.’
      • ‘Since I write reviews for a living, I didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘He closed his hand around it, not even batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘Yet my husband, who I reckon has more than doubled in size since we met, doesn't bat an eyelid.’
      • ‘Petrified, she sat still, not so much as batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘The counselor said and she repeated that question over and over but Kate didn't bat an eye nor did she speak a word.’
      • ‘He could get a vice president's position at just about any company in town without batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘A colleague actually asked Skip that question and he didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘Even when a roar of pain resounded from the back room, she didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘Paul didn't bat an eyelid - neither did I, I was too busy staring in horror at the receipt. $1890 on food!’
      • ‘When he told me what he'd done, I didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘‘I like to read the dictionary every day,’ he says without batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘When I say they didn't bat an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating because I was looking at them.’
      • ‘The compassionate doctor didn't bat an eyelid at the scene in front of her.’
      • ‘MacGyver, err… our driver, didn't bat an eye despite our extensive arm waving.’
  • not bat an eye (or eyelash)

    • informal Show (or showing) no surprise or concern.

      ‘he read it without batting an eyelash’

Origin

Late 19th century (originally US): from dialect and US bat ‘to wink, blink’, variant of obsolete bate ‘to flutter’.

Pronunciation

bat

/bat/