Definition of baton in English:

baton

noun

  • 1A thin stick used by a conductor to direct an orchestra or choir.

    • ‘I remember the conductor's baton coming down and everyone started to play except me who had no idea of where I was or of how to follow the beat!’
    • ‘It was natural, of course, that a man who had stood, holding his conductor's baton on the greatest cities of the world would be like this.’
    • ‘Ever wonder just what, exactly, a composer is doing when he's waving his baton around while the orchestra plays?’
    • ‘He waved a hand in the air like he was holding a baton and conducting an orchestra.’
    • ‘Under the baton of veteran Musical Director Derek Broadbent the orchestra seemed to enjoy themselves just as much as the cast.’
    • ‘The singing is excellent down through the cast and the orchestra performs splendidly under his incisive baton.’
    • ‘He leads with an incisive baton and the orchestra and chorus respond with spirit.’
    • ‘But I still prefer my own, a Victorian ivory and ebony conductor's baton.’
    • ‘Later, at school in Uppingham, he even wielded the baton, with evident glee, for a newly composed opera written by a young friend.’
    • ‘The conductor lifted his baton high above his head, and signaled the band to pick up their instruments.’
    • ‘I normally deplore applause that begins before the conductor lowers his baton, but I joined in the spontaneous delight at the pyrotechnics.’
    • ‘From the day he raised a baton as principal conductor in Birmingham in 1980, Rattle has been the golden boy of classical music.’
    • ‘This is home to the Seattle Symphony, but even before the conductor lifts his baton, you get a show.’
    • ‘Now Jansons is taking his baton to orchestras that have nothing to prove.’
    • ‘He is a phenomenon of the podium, an immigrant kid who first raised a baton for Toscanini at the age of seven and has since conducted 5,000 performances.’
    • ‘So, in desperation, the Italian orchestra handed the baton over to its own principal cellist.’
    • ‘Holding the baton for the choir was music teacher, Fiona McPhillips.’
    • ‘When he conducted, the baton looked small and yet he held it so delicately.’
    • ‘When a conductor raises or lowers his or her baton, the musicians know it is time to start or stop playing.’
    • ‘But the fact remains that on September 7, Rattle will take a huge step away from Britain when he finally takes up his baton as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.’
    stick, rod, staff, wand, bar
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A short stick or tube passed from runner to runner in a relay race.
      • ‘They were leading when their third runner dropped the baton before passing it to the anchor.’
      • ‘The Queen will also visit Leeds and attend a garden party at Harewood House on July 11-the day of the baton's relay through the city.’
      • ‘Continuing the theme of movement, the third revealed a split screen showing identical images of relay racers passing a baton.’
      • ‘I've heard her talk about this;the third runner knocked the baton out of her hand, her knee came up.’
      • ‘Minutes later he was back to hand the baton to the next runner who set off towards Smithy Bridge as smiling onlookers applauded and yelled their support.’
    2. 1.2 A long stick carried and twirled by a drum major or drum majorette.
      • ‘We hope any money collected as part of WISH 2012 will go towards purchasing new uniforms for our majorette troupe and new batons for our dance competitions.’
      • ‘There might be a Rose Parade all the way to the Hall of Fame with Pete out front twirling the baton if, and when, he becomes eligible.’
      • ‘In 2008, the National Toy Hall of Fame inducted "The Stick" into its lineup of all-time best toys, noting that "sticks can turn into swords, magic wands, majorette batons, and light sabers."’
      • ‘Firstly, a man brandishes a halberd (a six-foot pole with a wide, glinting blade at its tip) before whirling it around like a majorette might twirl a baton.’
      • ‘In the week leading up to the big event, drum majors, baton twirlers and cheerleaders fill hotel staterooms, elevator banks and stairwells.’
      • ‘He set scoring records at Niagara and twirled the baton at Buffalo Bills games.’
      • ‘On a sunny July 4 morning in Ripley - a town of 3400 souls - he revelled in the festivities as batons twirled and bands marched.’
      • ‘They talked about how she was prone to forget her majorette baton and even her performance wig, but never her lip gloss, which she wore all the time.’
    3. 1.3 A police officer's truncheon.
      • ‘Over the course of about thirty demonstrations, more than 100 people were injured by batons, rubber bullets and tear-gas inhalation.’
      • ‘Heavily armed riot police used tear gas, water cannon and batons to break up groups of demonstrators and then chased them down side streets.’
      • ‘The police had erected iron fences and used tear gas, batons and rubber bullets to disperse the protests.’
      • ‘Twenty officers mounted on horses quickly advanced, swinging batons, flanked by police on foot who fired concussion grenades and volleys of rubber bullets.’
      • ‘They were stopped by scores of riot policemen armed with automatic weapons, batons and water cannons.’
      • ‘Twenty thousand police were dispatched, armed with riot gear, tear gas, batons, and live ammunition.’
      • ‘As this too failed to disperse the crowd, officers were forced to try to push back the protesters with batons, water cannons, tear gas and blank bullets.’
      • ‘He said he was then approached from behind by a uniformed police officer with his baton drawn.’
      • ‘Clashes with riot police armed with batons and tear gas broke out in different areas of the city.’
      • ‘Police wielded batons and fired tear gas at the protesters.’
      • ‘We are not talking about ‘long time police’, men armed with batons and dressed in short pants.’
      • ‘Earlier in the day seven protesters were arrested when 500 police attempted to disperse a rally using batons and water cannons.’
      • ‘They were dispersed by riot police using batons and tear gas.’
      • ‘Police with guns and batons lined the way, together with armoured vehicles, razor wire and concrete barricades.’
      • ‘Around 250 police armed with tear gas, water cannons, batons, shields and automatic weapons attacked the workers when they refused to disperse.’
      • ‘Sam and I quickly shook our arms and police batons fell out of our sleeves.’
      • ‘Police wielded batons and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse crowds and take control of the streets.’
      • ‘All members will carry long batons, but there will only be one or two Remington shotguns using plastic bullets and beanbags.’
      • ‘There were police with tear gas and rubber bullets and batons.’
      • ‘Police used firearms, tear gas, grenades and batons during the confrontation.’
      truncheon, club, cudgel, bludgeon, stick, bat, mace
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 A staff of office or authority, especially one carried by a field marshal.
      • ‘Victory brought Wellington a field marshal's baton, sensitively designed by the Prince Regent himself.’
      • ‘I have a field marshal's baton in the backpack, it is just that the season is not right to take it out.’
      • ‘It is said every soldier carries a field marshal's baton in his knapsack.’
      • ‘Brauchitsch, having been promoted to general in February 1938, was given his field marshal's baton in July 1940.’
    5. 1.5 A rectangular piece of a vegetable or other food:
      ‘have plenty of crudités in the fridge, such as carrot batons’
      ‘batons of cheddar cheese’
      • ‘A little shorter and wider than a julienne, this cut can be described as vegetable batons.’
      • ‘Several recipes, including one for grilled vegetables with batons of grilled tofu, make for pleasing vegetarian fare.’
      • ‘Hand around the BBQ sauce and crushed pretzels for dipping the chicken batons in.’
      • ‘Lightly toss your vegetable batons with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.’
      • ‘Cut the apple into batons 5cm long and 1cm wide and deep and then toss the batons in the lemon juice.’
      • ‘Cut the parsnips into long, thin batons 5mm (1 / 4 in) thick or use the julienne setting on your food processor.’
      • ‘Homemade beet kimchi consisted of thick batons of yellow beets steeped in mildly hot chile sauce.’
      • ‘This cooking skill is all about cutting baton carrots.’
    6. 1.6Heraldry A narrow bend truncated at each end.
      • ‘With the house of Bourbon the baton distinguished the cadets, while the baton sinister marked the illegitimates.’
      • ‘By the 17th century a baton sinister was also used to indicate illegitimacy.’
    7. 1.7 A short bar replacing some figures on the dial of a clock or watch.
      • ‘It's accented by large luminous white hands, thin white baton markers, and Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o'clock.’
      • ‘Petite baton hands and four baton indicators adorn the dial, which is set in a square goldtone steel case with gentle contours and a beautiful polished shine.’
      • ‘It features a black face, Arabic figures and baton hour markers, small seconds dial at 9 o’clock, ‘Black Seal’ inscription at 6 o’clock.’
    8. 1.8batons One of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to wands in others.
      • ‘The four latin suits are swords, batons, cups and coins.’
      • ‘A 40 card pack is used, usually with the Italian suits: swords, batons, cups and coins.’
      • ‘The suits are cups, coins, swords and batons, and each suit contains seven different cards: ace, 3, 4, 5, jack, horse, king.’
      • ‘In the North East of Lombardy the Italian suits -- swords, batons, cups and coins -- are used.’

Phrases

  • pass (on) the baton

    • Hand over a particular duty or responsibility:

      ‘the technique allows us to pass the baton to the next generation’
      • ‘My life is now busy teaching, studying and preparing for the arrival (in mid-October) of our new baby, so I'm pleased to have passed the baton to Mark.’
      • ‘It is appropriate to pass on the baton at this time, as the new millennium brings altogether new challenges for the industry,’ he said.’
      • ‘He passed the baton of his ambition on to me and urged me to become a writer, something he'd dreamed of doing all this life.’
      • ‘The day Smith recorded her last album, Billie Holiday walked into the same studio to record her first - like passing on the baton.’
      • ‘The world's greatest rower for a decade, he needs one last, great race before passing the baton on permanently to his long-term teammate.’
      • ‘I'm very anxious to be here to pass the baton to the next young man or young woman who walks on the moon.’
      • ‘But after 18 years as head coach, Clive Marshall has passed the baton to John Bates and become director of rugby.’
      • ‘Should they choose to accept it, I pass the baton on to Adrian and Rhys.’
      • ‘If he can't live with the current system, he says, ‘it is time to pass the baton.’’
      • ‘Many of my struggles were her struggles, sort of like she passed the baton to me.’
  • take up (or pick up) the baton

    • Accept a particular duty or responsibility:

      ‘it was left to the capital's campuses to take up the baton’
      • ‘Somebody needs to pick up the baton here and, you know, without kind of waiting for a consensus or without demanding concessions.’
      • ‘This year, people in 23 other locations around the country took up the baton and organised Goal Miles in their own locality.’
      • ‘This is a Government initiative and Bradford is happy to take up the baton.’
      • ‘Their father was a great loss but we were all delighted when Elaine and John decided to take up the baton.’
      • ‘So it goes back to what we've been talking about for months, business spending needs to pick up the baton.’
      • ‘This time last year, another past student, Ruth Maloney, took up the baton as musical director for such school productions and has done a wonderful job.’
      • ‘There are younger players, like Owen, who have picked up the baton, and England still have other good strikers.’
      • ‘Younger people are needed to take up the baton and continue to fight for Bingley, but there seems to be little interest.’
      • ‘There are plenty of other districts in Essex which are willing to pick up the baton.’
      • ‘‘I hope to pick up the baton where he's left it,’ Spence said last week.’
  • under the baton of

    • (of an orchestra or choir) conducted by:

      ‘the contract also allows for the orchestra to record under the baton of Sir Edward Downes’
      • ‘The soloist was the young Greek violist Alexandros Koustas, with the recently formed Blenheim Chamber Orchestra under the baton of their founder Daniel Cohen.’
      • ‘The orchestra will be under the baton of esteemed conductors Philip Edmondson and Richard Nicholls.’
      • ‘Director Robert Readman has a strong, capable cast among the Rowntree Players, supported by a fine orchestra under the baton of musical director Mike Thompson.’
      • ‘The music lost none of its power as the Queensland Orchestra, under the baton of Tom Woods, brought Francois Klaus's choreography to life.’
      • ‘The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, plays works by Dvorák and Sibelius on 12 August.’

Origin

Early 16th century (denoting a staff or cudgel): from French bâton, earlier baston, from late Latin bastum stick.

Pronunciation:

baton

/ˈbat(ə)n/