Definition of baton in English:

baton

noun

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

    • ‘Holding the baton for the choir was music teacher, Fiona McPhillips.’
    • ‘Under the baton of veteran Musical Director Derek Broadbent the orchestra seemed to enjoy themselves just as much as the cast.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ever wonder just what, exactly, a composer is doing when he's waving his baton around while the orchestra plays?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘The conductor lifted his baton high above his head, and signaled the band to pick up their instruments.’
    • ‘But I still prefer my own, a Victorian ivory and ebony conductor's baton.’
    • ‘He leads with an incisive baton and the orchestra and chorus respond with spirit.’
    • ‘When he conducted, the baton looked small and yet he held it so delicately.’
    • ‘From the day he raised a baton as principal conductor in Birmingham in 1980, Rattle has been the golden boy of classical music.’
    • ‘When a conductor raises or lowers his or her baton, the musicians know it is time to start or stop playing.’
    • ‘Now Jansons is taking his baton to orchestras that have nothing to prove.’
    • ‘I normally deplore applause that begins before the conductor lowers his baton, but I joined in the spontaneous delight at the pyrotechnics.’
    • ‘He waved a hand in the air like he was holding a baton and conducting an orchestra.’
    • ‘The singing is excellent down through the cast and the orchestra performs splendidly under his incisive baton.’
    • ‘Later, at school in Uppingham, he even wielded the baton, with evident glee, for a newly composed opera written by a young friend.’
    • ‘This is home to the Seattle Symphony, but even before the conductor lifts his baton, you get a show.’
    • ‘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.’
    stick, rod, staff, wand, bar
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A short stick or tube passed from runner to runner in a relay race.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They were leading when their third runner dropped the baton before passing it to the anchor.’
      • ‘I've heard her talk about this;the third runner knocked the baton out of her hand, her knee came up.’
      • ‘Continuing the theme of movement, the third revealed a split screen showing identical images of relay racers passing a baton.’
    2. 1.2 A long stick carried and twirled by a drum major or drum majorette.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On a sunny July 4 morning in Ripley - a town of 3400 souls - he revelled in the festivities as batons twirled and bands marched.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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."’
    3. 1.3 A police officer's truncheon.
      • ‘Police with guns and batons lined the way, together with armoured vehicles, razor wire and concrete barricades.’
      • ‘Heavily armed riot police used tear gas, water cannon and batons to break up groups of demonstrators and then chased them down side streets.’
      • ‘They were dispersed by riot police using batons and tear gas.’
      • ‘Earlier in the day seven protesters were arrested when 500 police attempted to disperse a rally using batons and water cannons.’
      • ‘He said he was then approached from behind by a uniformed police officer with his baton drawn.’
      • ‘Over the course of about thirty demonstrations, more than 100 people were injured by batons, rubber bullets and tear-gas inhalation.’
      • ‘Twenty officers mounted on horses quickly advanced, swinging batons, flanked by police on foot who fired concussion grenades and volleys of rubber bullets.’
      • ‘Police wielded batons and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse crowds and take control of the streets.’
      • ‘Sam and I quickly shook our arms and police batons fell out of our sleeves.’
      • ‘Around 250 police armed with tear gas, water cannons, batons, shields and automatic weapons attacked the workers when they refused to disperse.’
      • ‘Clashes with riot police armed with batons and tear gas broke out in different areas of the city.’
      • ‘There were police with tear gas and rubber bullets and batons.’
      • ‘We are not talking about ‘long time police’, men armed with batons and dressed in short pants.’
      • ‘The police had erected iron fences and used tear gas, batons and rubber bullets to disperse the protests.’
      • ‘Police wielded batons and fired tear gas at the protesters.’
      • ‘They were stopped by scores of riot policemen armed with automatic weapons, batons and water cannons.’
      • ‘Police used firearms, tear gas, grenades and batons during the confrontation.’
      • ‘Twenty thousand police were dispatched, armed with riot gear, tear gas, batons, and live ammunition.’
      • ‘All members will carry long batons, but there will only be one or two Remington shotguns using plastic bullets and beanbags.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘This cooking skill is all about cutting baton carrots.’
      • ‘Several recipes, including one for grilled vegetables with batons of grilled tofu, make for pleasing vegetarian fare.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hand around the BBQ sauce and crushed pretzels for dipping the chicken batons in.’
      • ‘Homemade beet kimchi consisted of thick batons of yellow beets steeped in mildly hot chile sauce.’
      • ‘A little shorter and wider than a julienne, this cut can be described as vegetable batons.’
    6. 1.6Heraldry A narrow bend truncated at each end.
      • ‘By the 17th century a baton sinister was also used to indicate illegitimacy.’
      • ‘With the house of Bourbon the baton distinguished the cadets, while the baton sinister marked the illegitimates.’
    7. 1.7 A short bar replacing some figures on the dial of a clock or watch.
      • ‘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's accented by large luminous white hands, thin white baton markers, and Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o'clock.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the North East of Lombardy the Italian suits -- swords, batons, cups and coins -- are used.’
      • ‘The suits are cups, coins, swords and batons, and each suit contains seven different cards: ace, 3, 4, 5, jack, horse, king.’
      • ‘A 40 card pack is used, usually with the Italian suits: swords, batons, cups and coins.’

Phrases

  • pass (on) the baton

    • Hand over a particular duty or responsibility.

      ‘the technique allows us to pass the baton to the next generation’
      • ‘But after 18 years as head coach, Clive Marshall has passed the baton to John Bates and become director of rugby.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm very anxious to be here to pass the baton to the next young man or young woman who walks on the moon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Should they choose to accept it, I pass the baton on to Adrian and Rhys.’
      • ‘Many of my struggles were her struggles, sort of like she passed the baton to me.’
      • ‘The day Smith recorded her last album, Billie Holiday walked into the same studio to record her first - like passing on the baton.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If he can't live with the current system, he says, ‘it is time to pass the baton.’’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is a Government initiative and Bradford is happy to take up the baton.’
      • ‘‘I hope to pick up the baton where he's left it,’ Spence said last week.’
      • ‘Younger people are needed to take up the baton and continue to fight for Bingley, but there seems to be little interest.’
      • ‘This year, people in 23 other locations around the country took up the baton and organised Goal Miles in their own locality.’
      • ‘There are plenty of other districts in Essex which are willing to pick up the baton.’
      • ‘Their father was a great loss but we were all delighted when Elaine and John decided 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.’
  • 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 London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, plays works by Dvorák and Sibelius on 12 August.’
      • ‘The music lost none of its power as the Queensland Orchestra, under the baton of Tom Woods, brought Francois Klaus's choreography to life.’
      • ‘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 orchestra will be under the baton of esteemed conductors Philip Edmondson and Richard Nicholls.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

baton

/ˈbat(ə)n/