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to thrive by feeding; grow fat.
to feed gluttonously or greedily; glut oneself.
to thrive, prosper, or live in luxury, especially at the expense of others:
robber barons who battened on the poor.
to cause to thrive by or as if by feeding; fatten.
a small board or strip of wood used for various building purposes, as to cover joints between boards, reinforce certain doors, or supply a foundation for lathing.
a transverse iron or steel strip supporting the flooring strips of a metal fire escape.

a thin strip of wood inserted in a sail to keep it flat.
a thin, flat length of wood or metal used for various purposes, as to hold the tarpaulin covering a hatch in place.

Shipbuilding. a flexible strip of wood used for fairing the lines of a hull on the floor of a mold loft.

Also called pipe batten. a length of metal pipe hung from the gridiron, for suspending scenery or equipment, as drops, flats, or lighting units.
a narrow strip of lumber for constructing, reinforcing, or joining flats.
a similar strip attached to a drop to keep it flat or taut.

to furnish or bolster with battens.
Nautical. to cover (a hatch) so as to make watertight (usually followed by down).
Machinery. to secure (work) to a table or bed for a machining operation.
Building Trades. to join or assemble (a steel column or the like) with batten plates.

to suspend (scenery, stage lights, etc.) from a batten.
to fasten a batten to (a flat or drop).

(in a loom) the swinging frame for holding and positioning the reed.
a part of the lay of a loom.
to beat (filling yarn) into place with the batten.
Contemporary Examples

With profits down over 90 percent and a spate of corporate in-fighting, Best Buy is battening down the hatches.
Why Best Buy Is Tanking Alex Klein August 20, 2012

Historical Examples

The battening of this horde soon reduced Southern finances and credit to a grewsome skeleton.
A Speckled Bird Augusta J. Evans Wilson

The monsters who had hovered about his neck were battening on his vitals now.
Abbe Mouret’s Transgression Emile Zola

Idleness and fulness of bread have made him what he is—a luxurious and self-willed dreamer, battening on his own fancies.
Yeast: A Problem Charles Kingsley

Here the meaner reptiles–active and prolific–might be seen busily at work, battening on human decay.
A Love Story A Bushman

Sanitary revolutionists and incendiaries accuse us of gorging rottenness, and battening on corruption.
International Weekly Miscellany Vol. I. No. 3, July 15, 1850 Various

One hundred and fifty years of outlawry had made the Frochard clan a wolfish breed; battening on crime, thievery and beggary.
Orphans of the Storm Henry MacMahon

The soft twilight was battening down the hatches of the day, to drop into the parlance of the locality.
A Christmas Accident and Other Stories Annie Eliot Trumbull

To battle with the world, instead of battening in luxury, is the joy of life, while there is any pluck and pith.
Dariel R. D. Blackmore

But since April, Bakkus had been battening on the good Archdeacon, his brother’s substantial allowance.
The Mountebank William J. Locke

a sawn strip of wood used in building to cover joints, provide a fixing for tiles or slates, support lathing, etc
a long narrow board used for flooring
a narrow flat length of wood or plastic inserted in pockets of a sail to give it proper shape
a lath used for holding a tarpaulin along the side of a raised hatch on a ship

a row of lights
the strip or bar supporting them

(NZ) Also called dropper. an upright part of a fence made of wood or other material, designed to keep wires at equal distances apart
(transitive) to furnish or strengthen with battens
batten down the hatches

to use battens in nailing a tarpaulin over a hatch on a ship to make it secure
to prepare for action, a crisis, etc

(intransitive) usually foll by on. to thrive, esp at the expense of someone else: to batten on the needy
Jean. 1909–82, New Zealand aviator: the first woman to fly single-handed from Australia to Britain (1935)

“strip of wood (especially used to fasten canvas over ships’ hatches),” 1650s, anglicized variant of baton “a stick, a staff” (see baton). Nautical use attested from 1769.

“to improve; to fatten,” 1590s, probably representing an English dialectal survival of Old Norse batna “improve” (cf. Old English batian, Old Frisian batia, Old High German bazen, Gothic gabatnan “to become better, avail, benefit,” Old English bet “better;” cf. also boot (v.)). Related: Battened; battening.

“to furnish with battens,” 1775, from batten (n.); phrase batten down recorded from 1823. Related: Battened; battening.


Read Also:

  • Batter

    to beat persistently or hard; pound repeatedly. to damage by beating or hard usage: Rough roads had battered the car. High winds were battering the coast. to deal heavy, repeated blows; pound steadily: continuing to batter at the front door. Printing. a damaged area on the face of type or plate. the resulting defect in […]

  • Batter board

    (at a building site) one of a number of boards set horizontally to support strings for outlining the foundation plan of a building.

  • Baton de commandement

    an Upper Paleolithic instrument possibly used as a shaft straightener, often made from the main beam of an antler and having one or more perforations through which a shaft could pass. noun an antler object found in Upper Palaeolithic sites from the Aurignacian period onwards, consisting of a rod, often ornately decorated, with a hole […]

  • Batter brace

    a diagonal brace reinforcing one end of a truss.

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