• A thin strip of wood used in construction to hold members of a structure together or to provide a fixing point.
  • A long strip of wood, metal, fibreglass etc., used for various purposes aboard ship, especially one inserted in a pocket sewn on the sail in order to keep the sail flat.
  • In stagecraft, a long pipe, usually metal, affixed to the ceiling or fly system in a theater.
  • The movable bar of a loom, which strikes home or closes the threads of a woof.


  • From Middle English *battenen, *batnen, of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse batna ("to grow better, improve, recover"), from Proto-Germanic *batnaną ("to become good, get better"), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰed-. Cognate with Icelandic batna ("to improve, recover"), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌱𐌰𐍄𐌽𐌰𐌽 ("to be noteful, profit, boot"), Dutch baten ("to avail, profit, benefit"), Old English batian ("to get better, recover"). More at better.
  • From Middle English bataunt, batent, from Old French batent ("beating").

Modern English dictionary

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