Main definitions of batten in English

: batten1batten2

batten1

noun

  • 1A long flat strip of squared timber or metal used to hold something in place or as a fastening against a wall.

    • ‘A hang glider has an aluminium frame which supports the sailcloth and uses internal battens in the wing to define the aerofoil shape.’
    • ‘Like a woven basket, the meshing together of the various elements - ribs, battens and shingles - creates a strong, stable, composite structure.’
    • ‘Furthermore, some of the exposed walls visible round the site are shored up by large beams or are partially covered by black sheeting underneath battens.’
    • ‘Layered battens, vines and translucent corrugated acrylic sheets on the west make a wall animated by shadow play on the inside, and a vertical garden outside.’
    • ‘If you are working with a batten make sure that the tiles are firmly seated on it.’
    • ‘We wedged the sides in the casements and, while Graham was outside applying more nails and battens to make it weather-tight, I fetched old towels to mop up the water on the window seat and on the floor beneath.’
    • ‘It is usually best to nail a straight wooden batten so that the top of the batten is set to the horizontal line.’
    • ‘Extra outlet space can be got by raising every third row of roof sheeting by inserting battens over the purlins and nailing the sheets to these battens and purlins.’
    • ‘About 50 metres along the gully, we saw a stack of fence battens ahead.’
    • ‘The horizontal timber battens of the south wall overlay profiled metal sheets, changing the scale of the wall and introducing shadow animation.’
    • ‘Prior to that, paper was mounted onto stretched hessian and attached to the wall by wooden battens, the traditional way of attaching fabric to walls.’
    • ‘Battens were secured to the central rafter, allowing the weight of the tiles to displace the battens, causing the tiles to slip.’
    • ‘The stage is stripped of drapery, and lighting battens at various heights form a sloped canopy overhead.’
    • ‘Wooden battens resting across the open top may be associated with its later use for tanning, indicated by leather off-cuts.’
    • ‘Then nail in place wooden battens to support the tiles - checking first that there are no hidden pipes or cables.’
    • ‘The plank was much springier than he had imagined, and he found himself doing an awkward hop-skip-and-stumble over its battens as it flexed under his boots.’
    • ‘The arrangement and integrity of the rafters, wattles, battens and fixings in most of the buildings with medieval thatch suggest that their base coats were applied when the buildings were first constructed.’
    • ‘Up for grabs are 144 balcony seats; large area of staging; stage curtain rail and black drape; lighting battens; cinema screen and frame; cinema projectors and dressing room items.’
    • ‘The cedar battens that cover the joints in the wainscoting are typical of the way in which the architects create elegant ornamentation out of practical detail.’
    • ‘Erected within the existing parapet walls, externally it is a simple box of fibre cement sheet with black-painted cover battens and projecting hardwood window frames.’
    bar, bolt, clamp, rail, shaft
    board, strip
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A strip of wood or metal for securing a tarpaulin over a ship's hatchway.
      • ‘All around there was a foot, or it may be a little more or less, space between, allowing for the battens to go over the hatches.’
      • ‘I also wonder if Bo has tightened the batten strings to reduce washout.’
      • ‘'And if it also comes on to blow and rain uncommonly hard, we take battens, stout laths of wood, that fit against the coaming, the raised rim of the hatchway, and so pin the tarpaulin down drum tight.’
    2. 1.2A strip of wood or plastic used to stiffen and hold the leech of a sail out from the mast.
      • ‘A new ‘U’ shaped batten pocket tends to lock the sail to the batten and help limit chord wise pressure movement resulting in less pitch up in strong thermal conditions.’
      • ‘I did use the kick stand on the Litespeed to lift the trailing edge of the sail up making it easier to put in the battens.’
      • ‘By 1980, the mainsail roach had been increased, a full-length top batten added to the mainsail and the jib size increased slightly for a new sail area of 87 square feet.’
      • ‘Her Falcon had no damage either, except all of the battens were flipped over, as the sail all but turned inside out.’
      • ‘Also with the sail tensioned the battens didn't catch on the cross tubes as you pushed them in.’
      • ‘Later Rohan explained how one checked the shape of the sail and the force required to ‘flip’ the batten end, to determine if the battens had the same tension on both left and right tip.’
      • ‘I would prefer a standard flip tip on the last batten rather then a string but in this configuration the tip is more durable to set up and breakdown.’
      • ‘The glider is a Wings Albatross (no connection to Enterprise Wings) with a sail area of over 200 square feet and no battens.’
      • ‘So far, two trimarans have abandoned the TJV - the most recent being Banque Covefi with Bertrand de Broc and Pascal Bidegorry due to battery problems and broken mainsail battens.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Strengthen or fasten (something) with battens.

    ‘Stephen was battening down the shutters’
    • ‘The hull had been tied and battened, and the final layer of sheep fat and lime would be applied to the outside planks, and, before the sun set, the ship would be dragged toward the tide flats as she rose upon the returning sea.’
    • ‘Schools often do not have windows but instead have large open frames that can be battened down during storms.’
    • ‘Well, we think we've got everything battened down.’
    • ‘I battened down my kitchen and ants venturing inside seemed stumped.’
    • ‘Cornwall and Regan batten their gates against the coming storm.’
    • ‘The big dogs are battened down in the kennel and the only means of air are some holes big enough for my hands to go through.’
    • ‘Although we batten down all bottles and loose items, this time, mercifully, there is only a moderate swell.’
    • ‘The Swan 36 comes with a fully battened mainsail and roller furling genoa as standard equipment.’
    • ‘Shopkeepers battened their steel doors and people rushed for home.’
    fasten, fix, secure, clamp, clasp, bolt, rivet, lash, make fast, nail down, seal, tether
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Phrases

  • batten down the hatches

    • 1Secure a ship's tarpaulins.

      • ‘Sailors in a storm-tossed sea know there is danger in relying solely on battening down the hatches.’
      • ‘Simply batten down the hatches using a properly fitting screwdriver and that's it.’
      • ‘By day break the rain had gone, replaced by a lovely blue sky and warm sunshine, although it looks like it will be time to batten down the hatches tonight as the weather turns wet and windy once again.’
      • ‘Sailors hop to it, and in an emergency, they can be counted on to reef the mainsail and batten down the hatches.’
      • ‘He battened down the hatches and rode the storm out.’
      1. 1.1Prepare for a difficulty or crisis.
        ‘a natural tendency in times of recession is to batten down the hatches’
        • ‘Both sides should just batten down the hatches, prepare for a very long 2004 and remember that miracles, or even acts of God, do happen.’
        • ‘Savings inflows are at record levels, reaching nearly £4bn during the first four months of the year as consumers batten down the hatches amid concerns about the future direction of the economy.’
        • ‘Given the state of the economy, they feel they have no choice but to batten down the hatches and prepare for a bad year.’
        • ‘If you do it anyway, batten down the hatches and prepare for retaliation.’
        • ‘So, without further ado, here are ten tips to battening down the hatches in your home!’
        • ‘Business people in the North's ‘flashpoints’ are again hoping for a quiet summer, but remain prepared to batten down the hatches.’
        • ‘And we are battening down the hatches right now, and getting prepared.’
        • ‘The announcement last week that Smith was to be replaced suggests that the hatches are being battened down to repel boarders, although the McManus group did not apparently ask for board representation.’
        • ‘Whether or not you think the time is right to start battening down the hatches, you must agree that the signs aren't looking particularly good.’
        • ‘If recession looms, consumers should batten down the hatches, take stock of their finances and cut out any waste to ensure they put their affairs on the most secure footing they can.’

Origin

Late 15th century: from Old French batant, present participle (used as a noun) of batre to beat, from Latin battuere.

Pronunciation:

batten

/ˈbat(ə)n/

Main definitions of batten in English

: batten1batten2

batten2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Thrive or prosper at the expense of.

    ‘multinational monopolies batten on the working classes’
    • ‘Extremist political parties are hoping to batten on the fears and resentments that already exist.’
    • ‘The work battens on your memories and replaces them.’
    • ‘The freeway engineers, battening on federal millions, had rammed their way through innumerable cities around the country, overwhelming opposition with claims that new roads would create jobs and solve traffic problems.’
    • ‘Populism in the region battens on this poverty.’
    flourish at the expense of, thrive at the expense of, fatten at the expense of, prosper at the expense of, gain at the expense of, be a parasite on
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century (in the sense ‘improve in condition, grow fat’): from Old Norse batna get better, related to better.

Pronunciation:

batten

/ˈbat(ə)n/