Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

batten down the hatches

Definition of batten down the hatches

  1. :  to prepare a boat or ship for dangerous stormy weather by closing and covering the openings in the deck —often used figuratively <As the economy grows worse, investors need to batten down the hatches and prepare for tough times ahead.>



Word by Word Definitions

battenplay
  1. :  to grow fat

    :  to feed gluttonously

    :  fatten

  1. :  a piece of lumber used especially for flooring

    :  a thin narrow strip of lumber used especially to seal or reinforce a joint

    :  a strip, bar, or support resembling or used similarly to a batten (as in a sail)

  1. :  to furnish with battens

    :  to make one secure by or as if by battens

downplay
  1. :  toward or in a lower physical position

    :  to a lying or sitting position

    :  toward or to the ground, floor, or bottom

  1. :  down along, around, through, toward, in, into, or on

  1. : :  to cause to go or come down: as

    :  bring down

    :  consume

  1. :  occupying a low position

    :  lying on the ground

    :  directed or going downward

  1. :  descent, depression

    :  an instance of putting down

    :  a complete play to advance the ball in football

  1. :  a sheep of any breed originating in the downs of southern England

  1. :  a covering of soft fluffy feathers

    :  these feathers

    :  something soft and fluffy like down

hatchplay hatches
  1. :  a small door or opening (as in an airplane or spaceship)

    :  an opening in the deck of a ship or in the floor or roof of a building

    :  the covering for such an opening

  1. :  to produce young by incubation

    :  to emerge from an egg, chrysalis, or pupa

    :  to give forth young or imagoes

  1. :  an act or instance of hatching

    :  a brood of hatched young

  1. :  to inlay with narrow bands of distinguishable material

    :  to mark (as a drawing or engraving) with fine closely spaced lines

  1. :  line

    :  one used to give the effect of shading


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up batten down the hatches? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift duvet pince-nez kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ