Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: SPORT

Sense: 1,5-7
Date: 1500-1600
Origin: back 'bat' (14-16 centuries), probably from a Scandinavian language.
Sense: 2-4
Origin: Old English batt

bat

1 noun
     
bat1 S3 [countable]
1HBA a small animal like a mouse with wings that flies around at night fruit bat
bat
2
a) DS a long wooden stick with a special shape that is used in some sports and games:
a baseball bat
a cricket bat
b) British English a round flat piece of wood with a handle, used to hit a ball in table tennis [= paddle American English]
3

be at bat

DSB to be the person who is trying to hit the ball in a game of baseball
4

do something off your own bat

British English informal to do something without being told to do it:
She went to see a solicitor off her own bat.
5

do something right off the bat

American English informal to do something immediately:
He said yes right off the bat.
6

like a bat out of hell

informal very fast:
I drove like a bat out of hell to the hospital.
7

old bat

spoken an unpleasant old woman

➔ as blind as a bat

at blind1 (1c)
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