Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

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
     
Related topics: Sport, Animals
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)

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary