Dictionary: BAT'TLE – BAW'BLE

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BAT'TLE, n. [Fr. bataille; W. batel, a drawing of the bow, a battle; Sp. batalla; It. battaglia, from beating. See Beat. Owen supposes the Welsh batel, to be from tel, tight, stretched, compact, and the word primarily to have expressed the drawing of the bow. This is probably an error. The first battles of men were with clubs, or some weapons used in beating, striking. Hence the club of Hercules. And although the moderns use different weapons, still a battle is some mode of beating or striking.]

  1. A fight, or encounter between enemies, or opposing armies; an engagement. It is usually applied to armies or large bodies of men; but in popular language, the word is applied to an encounter between small bodies, between individuals, or inferior animals. It is also more generally applied to the encounters of land forces than of ships, the encounters of the latter being called engagements. But battle is applicable to any combat of enemies.
  2. A body of forces, or division of an army. – Bacon. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear. [Obs.] – Hayward. To give battle, is to attack an enemy; to join battle, is properly to meet the attack; but perhaps this distinction is not always observed. A pitched battle, is one in which the armies are previously drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the forces. To turn the battle to the gate, is to fight valiantly, and drive the enemy, who hath entered the city, back to the gate. – Is. xxviii.

BAT'TLE, v.i. [Fr. batailler; Sp. batallar.]

To join in battle; to contend in fight; sometimes with it; as, to battle it. – Addison.

BAT'TLE, v.t.

To cover with armed force. – Fairfax.

BAT'TLE-AR-RAY, n. [battle and array.]

Array or order of battle; the disposition of forces preparatory to a battle.


An ax anciently used as a weapon of war. It bas been used till of late years by the highlanders in Scotland; and is still used by the city guards in Edinburgh, in quelling mobs, &c. – Encyc.

BAT'TLE-DOOR, n. [bat'tl-dore.]

  1. An instrument of play, with a handle and a flat board or palm, used to strike a ball or shuttle-cock; a racket. – Locke.
  2. A child's horn-book. [Not in use in the United States.]

BAT'TLE-MENT, n. [This is said to have been bastillement, from bastille, a fortification, from Fr. bâtir, bastir, to build. Qu.]

A wall raised on a building with openings, or embrasures, or the embrasure itself. – Encyc. Johnson.


Secured by battlements. – Herbert.


Conflict. – Thomson.

BAT-TOL'O-GIST, n. [See Battology.]

One that repeats the same thing in speaking or writing. [Little used.] – Whitlock.


To repeat needlessly the same thing. [Little used.] – Herbert.

BAT-TOL'O-GY, n. [Gr. βαττολογια, from βαττος, a garrulous person, and λογος, discourse.]

A needless repetition of words in speaking. – Ash. Encyc.

BAT'TON, n. [from bat.]

In commerce, pieces of wood or deal for flooring, or other purposes. – Encyc.


Among the Hans Towns, a factory or magazine which the merchants have in foreign countries. – Encyc.


To interdict commerce. [A word used by the Levant Company.] – Eton.


A prohibition of commerce. – Eton.

BAT-TU'TA, n. [It.]

The measuring of time by beating.

BAT'TY, a. [from bat, an animal.]

Belonging to a bat. – Shak.

BATZ, n.

A small copper coin with a mixture of silver, current in some parts of Germany and Switzerland. – Encyc.

BAU-BEE', n. [Qu. Fr. bas-billon.]

In Scotland and the North of England, a half penny. – Johnson.


A drugget manufactured in Burgundy, with thread spun thick, and of coarse wool. – Encyc.




A kind of cloke or surtout. – Johnson.

BAV'IN, n.

A stick like those bound up in fagots; a piece of waste wood. In war, brush, fagots. – Johnson. Encyc.

BAW'BLE, n. [Fr. babiole, a toy, or baby-thing; according to Spelman, baubella are gems or jewels.]

A trifling piece of finery; a gew-gaw; that which is gay or showy without real value. – Dryden.