verb (used with object), batted, batting.
to blink; wink; flutter.
not bat an eye, to show no emotion or surprise; maintain a calm exterior:
The murderer didn’t bat an eye when the jury announced its verdict of guilty.
any of various types of club with a handle, used to hit the ball in certain sports, such as cricket, baseball, or table tennis
a flat round club with a short handle, resembling a table-tennis bat, used by a man on the ground to guide the pilot of an aircraft when taxiing
(cricket) short for batsman
any stout stick, esp a wooden one
(informal) a blow from such a stick
(Austral) a small board used for tossing the coins in the game of two-up
(US & Canadian, slang) a drinking spree; binge
(slang) speed; rate; pace: they went at a fair bat
another word for batting (sense 1)
(cricket) carry one’s bat, (of an opening batsman) to reach the end of an innings without being dismissed
off one’s own bat
(US & Canadian, informal) off the bat, right off the bat, immediately; without hesitation
verb bats, batting, batted
(transitive) to strike with or as if with a bat
(intransitive) (sport) (of a player or a team) to take a turn at batting
any placental mammal of the order Chiroptera, being a nocturnal mouselike animal flying with a pair of membranous wings (patagia). The group is divided into the Megachiroptera (fruit bats) and Microchiroptera (insectivorous bats) related adjective chiropteran
(slang) an irritating or eccentric woman (esp in the phrase old bat)
blind as a bat, having extremely poor eyesight
(informal) have bats in the belfry, have bats in one’s belfry, to be mad or eccentric; have strange ideas
(slang) like a bat out of hell, very quickly
verb (transitive) bats, batting, batted
to wink or flutter (one’s eyelids)
(informal) not bat an eye, not bat an eyelid, to show no surprise or concern
“a stick, a club,” Old English *batt “cudgel,” perhaps from Celtic (cf. Irish and Gaelic bat, bata “staff, cudgel”), influenced by Old French batte, from Late Latin battre “beat;” all from PIE root *bhat- “to strike.” Also “a lump, piece” (mid-14c.), as in brickbat. As a kind of paddle used to play cricket, it is attested from 1706.
Phrase right off the bat is 1888, also hot from the bat (1888), probably a baseball metaphor, but cricket is possible as a source; there is an early citation from Australia (in an article about slang): “Well, it is a vice you’d better get rid of then. Refined conversation is a mark of culture. Let me hear that kid use slang again, and I’ll give it to him right off the bat. I’ll wipe up the floor with him. I’ll —” [“The Australian Journal,” November 1888].
flying mammal (order Chiroptera), 1570s, a dialectal alteration of Middle English bakke (early 14c.), which is probably related to Old Swedish natbakka, Old Danish nathbakkæ “night bat,” and Old Norse leðrblaka “leather flapper,” so original sense is likely “flapper.” The shift from -k- to -t- may have come through confusion of bakke with Latin blatta “moth, nocturnal insect.”
Old English word for the animal was hreremus, from hreran “to shake” (see rare (adj.2)), and rattle-mouse is attested from late 16c., an old dialectal word for “bat.” As a contemptuous term for an old woman, perhaps a suggestion of witchcraft (cf. fly-by-night), or from bat as “prostitute who plies her trade by night” [Farmer, who calls it “old slang” and finds French equivalent “night swallow” (hirondelle de nuit) “more poetic”].
“to move the eyelids,” 1847, American English, from earlier sense of “flutter as a hawk” (1610s), a variant of bate (v.2) on the notion of fluttering wings. Related: Batted; batting.
“to hit with a bat,” mid-15c., from bat (n.1). Related: Batted; batting.
go to bat against, go to bat for, have bats in one’s belfry, like a bat out of hell, right off the bat, take off like a bigass bird
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The Hebrew word (atalleph’) so rendered (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18) implies “flying in the dark.” The bat is reckoned among the birds in the list of unclean animals. To cast idols to the “moles and to the bats” means to carry them into dark caverns or desolate places to which these animals resort (Isa. 2:20), i.e., to consign them to desolation or ruin.
- Not be caught dead
verb phrase To be defiantly set against; be extremely reluctantly found or seen: I wouldn’t be caught dead in that dress (1940s+) see: caught dead
- Not born yesterday
More experienced and less naive than one appears to be, as in Don’t think you can fool me; I wasn’t born yesterday. This term gained currency from the title of Garson Kanin’s popular Broadway play, Born Yesterday, which was made into an even more popular film. In both, Judy Holliday played a stereotypical dumb blonde […]
- Not built that way
Not so disposed or inclined, as in I can’t apologize for something I didn’t do—I’m just not built that way. [ Late 1800s ]
- Not buttoned up too tightly
adjective phrase Feebleminded; eccentric; not all there, not wrapped tight: a nice old gentleman, but not buttoned-up too tightly, as you’ve noticed (1980s+)