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bat·ten 1 (bătn)
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v. bat·tened, bat·ten·ing, bat·tens
v.intr.
1. To become fat.
2. 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).
v.tr.
To fatten; overfeed.

[Ultimately from Old Norse batna, to improve; see bhad- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
bat·ten 2 (bătn)
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n.
1. Nautical
a. One of several flexible strips of wood or plastic placed in pockets at the outer edge of a sail to keep it flat.
b. A narrow strip of wood used to fasten down the edges of the material that covers hatches in foul weather.
2. A narrow strip of wood used in construction, especially to cover a seam between boards, as flooring material, or as a lath.
3.
a. The heavy swinging bar on a loom that holds the reed and is pulled forward to pack down the weft.
b. A flat stick used in weaving by hand to separate the upper and lower threads of the warp and to tighten the weft.
tr.v. bat·tened, bat·ten·ing, bat·tens
Nautical To furnish, fasten, or secure with battens: battened down the hatch during the storm.
Idiom:
batten down the hatches
To prepare for an imminent disaster or emergency.

[Alteration of Middle English batent, finished board or bar of wood, from Old French batant, wooden strip, clapper, from present participle of batre, to beat; see BATTER1. Noun, sense 3a and b, from French batant, from Old French.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Bat·ten (bătn), Jean Gardner 1909-1982.
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New Zealand aviator who was the first woman to fly a solo round trip between England and Australia (1935).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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