Main definitions of bat in English

: bat1bat2bat3

bat1

noun

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

    • ‘He's one of the fastest players in baseball, and he handles the bat well for a young hitter.’
    • ‘Okay, I just found out that baseball and cricket bats can be aluminium, but you get my point.’
    • ‘He tried to play again in September but couldn't swing a bat or catch a ball.’
    • ‘Well, it turns out nobody officially tests balls hit by aluminum bats under game conditions.’
    • ‘He says the cold weather also helps because it makes him concentrate on hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the bat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He generates the best bat speed in the game and hits balls harder than any other batter.’
    • ‘Streaks and slumps are as common to baseball as bats and gloves.’
    • ‘Not every child gets a cricket bat, rugby ball, pair of football boots or spikes as a Christmas or birthday present.’
    • ‘He's one of the greatest sportsmen that ever picked up a mallet or a cricket bat.’
    • ‘Depending on the type of game, we used wood or plastic bats.’
    • ‘You hit for average, you hit for power, you had the quickest bat in the game.’
    • ‘He fields his position well and can handle the bat, not only bunting but putting the ball in play to help move runners.’
    • ‘Umpires can remove a bat from the game if a bat has exceeded the pine tar limitation.’
    • ‘Crosby handles the bat well, is an above-average defensive player and is a candidate for A.L. Rookie of the Year.’
    • ‘In spring play Joyner showed good bat control and played solid defense.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I can almost feel the adrenaline rising inside of me as I held a dodge ball or a baseball bat in my hand.’
    truncheon, club, cudgel, bludgeon, stick, mace
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The person batting, especially in cricket.
      ‘the team's opening bat’
      • ‘It is another matter that Dravid is virtually an opening bat already.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although his 2001 numbers were way down from his monstrous 2000 season, he is by far the best bat on the team.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Does any other team have opening bats who spend more of their time swishing at flies outside the off stump?’
      • ‘He is a right-hand bat and right medium fast bowler.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Opening bat Matthew Hayden is less interested in rising deliveries than in his rising soufflés; forget his sticky wicket, he wants sticky toffee.’
      • ‘The opening bat, who topped the First Division runs chart with 1,133, is having problems with his hip.’
      • ‘Opening bat Ken Coulston paved the way and stayed until the 39th over.’
      • ‘Kenneth Meuleman, an opening bat, played just one test for Australia, scoring 0.’
      • ‘He is a right-hand bat and right-arm off-break or medium-pace bowler.’
      • ‘Burley-In-Wharfedale opening bat Chris Wheeler smashed his way to 170 against the hapless bowlers of Bardsey last week.’
      • ‘Now you can imagine what I thought when I saw an opening bat by the name of Williamson scoring runs.’
      • ‘When Hands was introduced to the attack, the home side were under pressure with fielders surrounding the bat.’
      • ‘Lo and behold, their opening bat was caught off my bowling.’
    2. 1.2 Each of a pair of objects resembling table tennis bats, used by a person on the ground to guide a taxiing aircraft.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All of the manuals reviewed as part of the investigation stated that marshalling bats should be used to minimise the risk of misinterpretation.’
      • ‘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.’

verb

  • 1no object (of a team or a player in sports such as baseball) take in turns the role of hitting rather than fielding.

    ‘Ruth came to bat in the fifth inning’
    • ‘Because he bats leadoff, the team needs Offerman to rebound at the plate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yesterday, they batted like a team without ambition.’
    • ‘There was a chart in the October issue showing players who batted below .300 while compiling at least 200 hits in a season.’
    • ‘You have to consider the weather and, if you are batting last, teams might only set us targets of 150.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the players batting behind Sheffield really get going, the opposition will have to challenge him.’
    • ‘Ellis could wind up playing a major role in the offense batting leadoff.’
    • ‘In his innings Smith faced 287 balls and batted 335 minutes.’
    • ‘Frankly, the team batted worse than it did in the first innings at Lahore.’
    • ‘Normally the bowlers will bowl, the batsmen will bat and everyone will field.’
    • ‘The Indian team batted perfectly, bowled like champions and fielded like tigers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The players need to bat longer innings and bowl accurately with line and direction, to make a good impression in the tournament.’
    • ‘He could bat reasonably well at seven but would be a tremendous addition to a team in batting at eight or nine.’
    • ‘Both batsmen timing the ball with precision, batted with charm and aggression.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At present everyone seems to have stronger bowling teams than batting, so they are putting all the batsmen under pressure.’
  • 2with object and adverbial of direction Hit at (someone or something) with the palm of one's hand.

    ‘he batted the flies away’
    • ‘You have to learn to time your jump to bat down the ball.’
    • ‘He picked up a sack and a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and batted down a ball at the line.’
    • ‘‘She finds things to play with, little twigs and stuff, and she bats them around,’ says Larson.’
    • ‘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 complained, batting her hands around her face wildly, ‘I'm like, getting all dirty.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He bats them around, knocks them to the floor, and usually leaves them alone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An inflatable sphere the crowd can bat around for fun.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She was pouncing on it, and batting it around, much to the enjoyment of her owner.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I pushed through them like I was running through some forest batting the tree limbs out of the way.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She reached out to touch it, but I batted her fingers away.’
    • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • bat a thousand

    • informal Be very successful; achieve perfection.

      ‘with the tortellini, I batted a thousand—both kids had seconds’
      • ‘He batted a thousand for the Marine Corps and the United States.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Rarely does a film get everything right, but The Hit manages to bat a thousand in just about every category.’
      • ‘Voss knows he's batting a thousand with his marketing efforts with each new customer who walks in the door.’
      • ‘And Mother Nature always bats last, and she always bats a thousand.’
      • ‘And the market always bats last and it always bats a thousand.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You know, John Kerry is apparently batting a thousand in these debates, at least as far as our latest poll is concerned.’
      • ‘And right now, I don't think they are batting 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’
      • ‘This news took me by surprise because I had assumed that he batted for the other side.’
      • ‘I've known several "straight" married men who decided after much soul-searching to bat for the other side.’
      • ‘I am seriously considering switching to batting for the other side.’
      • ‘Got my gaydar going - he's batting for the other team.’
      • ‘I swear all the good-looking guys are batting for the other team.’
      • ‘Funny though, I always thought she batted for the other team.’
  • right off the bat

    • At the very beginning.

      • ‘They believe that they are somehow entitled to a certain level of respect right off the bat just because they are athletes.’
      • ‘Pretty much, families will give you that indication right off the bat.’
      • ‘There was, admittedly, a vague sense of familiarity there, but nothing she could recall 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.’
      • ‘I feel like if I was being set up, he would probably have just handed me the information right off the bat.’
      • ‘Well, let me say right off the bat that I am pretty impressed.’
      • ‘I'll tell you this right off the bat: I liked it, and it held up well under repeated viewings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't know exactly how many, but I can think right off the bat about three or more.’
      • ‘‘It's too good of a question for me to answer right off the bat,’ he says.’
      • ‘Installation is straightforward, and right off the bat, you got your options on how to setup the graphics.’
      • ‘And maybe he did, in which case he should be taking responsibility for it, right off the bat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He just comes out with it right off the bat and lets you know what the truth is.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These kids were raised on e-mail, and you'll lose them right off the bat if they can't apply online.’
      • ‘I know this is a scam right off the bat, because I'm not anyone's employee.’
      • ‘Companies often don't ‘know the full scope of the problem right off the bat,’ he says.’
  • go to bat for

    • informal Defend the interests of; support.

      ‘his willingness to go to bat for his employees’

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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 have got a couple of sports talk show hosts joining us to bat around the topic.’
      • ‘For a couple of hours different ideas were batted around to see how strong they were, but none stood up to Jen's standards.’
      • ‘I like batting around ideas, I like playing devil's advocate, I enjoy being tested by someone else playing devil's advocate.’
      • ‘It's been nice batting ideas around with you.’
      • ‘I like to bat things around with colleagues and then come to a conclusion’.’
      • ‘It wasn't too long ago that the idea of common currency was seriously being batted about.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some of these issues have been batted about for years with little change.’
      • ‘Now, military planners have batted around the idea of a missile defense system.’
      • ‘We're going to bat around some of the nicknames we've come up with so far.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘The words genius and great are batted around so much today they lose their true meaning, but Shoe was such a person,’ Gosden said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Talk to intelligence professionals about their work, and you will hear them bat around this term: tradecraft.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We're going to bat around vice-presidential possibilities here for a moment.’
      • ‘The idea that movie piracy can be reduced by simultaneous theater and DVD releases has been batted around for a little while now.’
      • ‘We all know how often charges of lying are batted about over what ends up being an honest disagreement.’
      • ‘‘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

/bæt//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 connecting the forelimbs to the body and the hindlimbs to the tail.

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

    ‘some deranged old bat’
    • ‘Ok, now that I've put that side of her character in perspective, you must be wondering why I like the 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.’
    • ‘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 crazy.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not sure if he had bats in his belfry.’
      • ‘The rumor is that Maggie has bats in her belfry?’
      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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘Well, you took off like a bat out of hell back there,’ he says.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘I ski like a bat out of hell, and I have recently taken up running in an attempt to cut down on smoking.’
      • ‘The car flew out of the tenth row 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘‘No’ Sean replied as he proceeded to drive like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's pretty great, actually, from a certain perspective. I mean, it starts going like a bat out of hell, and keeps accelerating.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He noticed Ame's eyes lock on him and quickly turned on his heel and ran like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘And then, just as suddenly, he was dashing down the hallway, away from her and the hospital like a bat out of hell.’
      • ‘Had that been Kina who'd sped past him like a bat out of hell?’
      • ‘So there I was, for half an hour, going like a bat out of hell on the exercise machine!’
      • ‘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.’
      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

/bæt//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’
    • ‘I ignored the flurry of giggles and batting eyelashes when I spotted Lily, Roberto, and Trace.’
    • ‘There was only one problem - Amanda had started batting her eyelashes at him, too.’
    • ‘So be careful who you bat your eyelashes at, even in jest.’
    • ‘Jake took Mariah's hand in his own, batting his eyelashes at her.’
    • ‘His lower lip trembled mockingly as he batted his eyelashes.’
    • ‘I mocked as innocently as possible, batting my eyelashes as furiously as I could.’
    • ‘She was batting her eyelashes at Rick in an extremely flirtatious manner.’
    • ‘She batted her eyelashes in the most flirtatious manner she could muster.’
    • ‘Olivia looked up and batted her big brown eyelashes at the clerk.’
    • ‘They were batting their eyelashes a million times a second and showing off their best seductive smiles… yuk!’
    • ‘To Todd she spoke more flirtatiously, batting her eyelashes and pressing up against the locker next to his.’
    • ‘She's looking at back at me gently, batting those thick eyelashes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I asked, trying to make myself look as attractive as possible by batting my eyelashes wildly.’
    • ‘Kayla flashed him a flirtatious grin, batting her eyes a little.’
    • ‘She asked flirtatiously, batting her mischievous eyelashes at him.’
    • ‘I asked breathily, batting my eyelashes at him.’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘A colleague actually asked Skip that question and he didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘She didn't bat an eye; she just kept chatting, telling him where she lived and walking him all the way to the subway.’
      • ‘But to my surprise, the kids didn't bat an eyelid.’
      • ‘The compassionate doctor didn't bat an eyelid at the scene in front of her.’
      • ‘Michael didn't bat an eyelid, but poured her another one, then led her into the spacious dining room to dance.’
      • ‘Even when a roar of pain resounded from the back room, she didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘He could get a vice president's position at just about any company in town without batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘When he told me what he'd done, I didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘It was a process that took place in the modern world and no one batted an eyelash.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When I say they didn't bat an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating because I was looking at them.’
      • ‘Paul didn't bat an eyelid - neither did I, I was too busy staring in horror at the receipt. $1890 on food!’
      • ‘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 closed his hand around it, not even batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘Petrified, she sat still, not so much as batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘Since I write reviews for a living, I didn't bat an eye.’
      • ‘Yet my husband, who I reckon has more than doubled in size since we met, doesn't bat an eyelid.’
      • ‘‘I like to read the dictionary every day,’ he says without batting an eyelash.’
      • ‘We sang Christmas and Hannakuh songs in the winter concert and nobody batted an eyelash.’
      • ‘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//bæt/