There are 2 definitions of batten in English:

batten1

Syllabification: bat·ten
Pronunciation: /ˈbatn
 
/

noun

  • 1A long, flat strip of squared wood or metal used to hold something in place or as a fastening against a wall.
    More example sentences
    • The horizontal timber battens of the south wall overlay profiled metal sheets, changing the scale of the wall and introducing shadow animation.
    • We wedged the sides in the casements and, while Graham was outside applying more nails and battens to make it weather-tight, I fetched old towels to mop up the water on the window seat and on the floor beneath.
    • Then nail in place wooden battens to support the tiles - checking first that there are no hidden pipes or cables.
    Synonyms
    bar, bolt, rail, shaft; board, strip
  • 1.1A strip of wood or metal for securing the edges of a tarpaulin that covers a ship’s hatch.
    More example sentences
    • I also wonder if Bo has tightened the batten strings to reduce washout.
    • 'And if it also comes on to blow and rain uncommonly hard, we take battens, stout laths of wood, that fit against the coaming, the raised rim of the hatchway, and so pin the tarpaulin down drum tight.
    • All around there was a foot, or it may be a little more or less, space between, allowing for the battens to go over the hatches.
  • 1.2A strip of wood or plastic used to stiffen and extend the leech of a sail.
    More example sentences
    • A new ‘U’ shaped batten pocket tends to lock the sail to the batten and help limit chord wise pressure movement resulting in less pitch up in strong thermal conditions.
    • Also with the sail tensioned the battens didn't catch on the cross tubes as you pushed them in.
    • Her Falcon had no damage either, except all of the battens were flipped over, as the sail all but turned inside out.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • Strengthen or fasten (something) with battens: Stephen was battening down the shutters
    More example sentences
    • The Swan 36 comes with a fully battened mainsail and roller furling genoa as standard equipment.
    • The big dogs are battened down in the kennel and the only means of air are some holes big enough for my hands to go through.
    • Shopkeepers battened their steel doors and people rushed for home.
    Synonyms
    fasten, fix, secure, clamp (down), lash, make fast, nail (down), seal

Phrases

batten down the hatches

Nautical Secure a ship’s hatch-tarpaulins, especially when rough weather is expected.
More example sentences
  • Sailors hop to it, and in an emergency, they can be counted on to reef the mainsail and batten down the hatches.
  • By day break the rain had gone, replaced by a lovely blue sky and warm sunshine, although it looks like it will be time to batten down the hatches tonight as the weather turns wet and windy once again.
  • Simply batten down the hatches using a properly fitting screwdriver and that's it.
Prepare for a difficulty or crisis.
More example sentences
  • Both sides should just batten down the hatches, prepare for a very long 2004 and remember that miracles, or even acts of God, do happen.
  • Business people in the North's ‘flashpoints’ are again hoping for a quiet summer, but remain prepared to batten down the hatches.
  • If you do it anyway, batten down the hatches and prepare for retaliation.

Origin

late 15th century: from Old French batant, present participle (used as a noun) of batre 'to beat', from Latin battuere.

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 2 definitions of batten in English:

batten2

Syllabification: bat·ten
Pronunciation: /
 
ˈbatn/

verb

[no object] (batten on)
  • Thrive or prosper at the expense of (someone): multinational monopolies batten on the working classes
    More example sentences
    • Extremist political parties are hoping to batten on the fears and resentments that already exist.
    • The work battens on your memories and replaces them.
    • Populism in the region battens on this poverty.

Origin

late 16th century (in the sense 'improve in condition, grow fat'): from Old Norse batna 'get better', related to better1.

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