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Definition of "batten" [bat•ten]

  • To become fat. (verb-intransitive)
  • To thrive and prosper, especially at another's expense: "[She] battens like a leech on the lives of famous people, . . . a professional retailer of falsehoods” ( George F. Will). (verb-intransitive)
  • To fatten; overfeed. (verb-transitive)
  • Nautical One of several flexible strips of wood or plastic placed in pockets at the outer edge of a sail to keep it flat. (noun)
  • Nautical A narrow strip of wood used to fasten down the edges of the material that covers hatches in foul weather. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "batten" in a sentence
  • ""And when you don't get one, you kind of batten down the hatches.""
  • "So we want him to kind of batten down the hatches, so to speak here, because I think the back side of the storm is going to be coming on through, and the winds should be picking up very dramatically, maybe even within the next half an hour or so."
  • "There was a "batten" on the barn that was loose at the upper end."