ba·ton | \bə-ˈtän, ba- also ˈba-tᵊn\
plural batons

Definition of baton 

1 : cudgel, truncheon specifically : billy club

2 : a staff borne as a symbol of office

3 : a narrow heraldic bend

4 : a slender rod with which a leader directs a band or orchestra

5 : a hollow cylinder carried by each member of a relay team and passed to the succeeding runner

6 : a hollow metal rod with a weighted bulb at one or both ends that is flourished by a drum major or drum majorette

7 : a piece of food that has been cut into a narrow strip that is thicker than a julienned piece of food We cut carrots into slabs, then batons, then dice.— Janet Rausa Fuller

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Examples of baton in a Sentence

The majorette twirled the baton. the detainee claimed that the police had beat him with their batons even after he had been shackled

Recent Examples on the Web

Now, with Cameron Burrell and Hall both seniors, comes the passing of the baton as the Cougars look to the future. Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle, "UH lives up to 'Speed City' moniker at NCAA outdoor championships," 9 June 2018 Though most of the baton strikes captured on the 1 minute and 8 second cellphone video appeared to be below the waist, one of the officers appears to strike Daniel Dunkelberger, 27, at least once, in the head area above his left shoulder. Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "Police union defends baton beating caught on video as within 'use of force matrix'," 1 June 2018 Learn different techniques of baton twirling while performing a rhythmic routine. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sports, preschool readiness, baton, beading among classes offered through Oconomowoc Recreation Department," 27 Mar. 2018 The protests spread across the country, and nearly everywhere they were met with batons and bullets. Fox News, "7 years on, Syrians despair over a country in pieces," 15 Mar. 2018 Police waded into the crowd and beat students with wooden batons. Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Nine seconds, three died in a SC civil rights protest: ‘We still ask ourselves, Why?’," 7 Feb. 2018 Mahathir, who became the world’s oldest elected leader at 92 in the elections and previously served as prime minister for 22 years until 2003, has agreed to hand the baton to Anwar. Washington Post, "Malaysia’s jailed opposition icon to make spectacular return," 15 May 2018 The 4 by 800 requires that each runner run twice around the oval track before handing the baton off. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Summer Creek sweeps Brown Relay titles," 17 Feb. 2018 Wu hands the baton over to Rich Brian, who feathers his gravelly baritone onto the production before Joji enters for the breakdown. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "Rich Brian, Trippie Redd, Kris Wu, Joji & Baauer Join Forces on '18': Listen," 16 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baton.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of baton

1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for baton

French bâton, from Old French baston, ultimately from Late Latin bastum stick

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Phrases Related to baton

passed the baton

Statistics for baton

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for baton

The first known use of baton was in 1520

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More Definitions for baton



English Language Learners Definition of baton

: a thin stick that is used by a music conductor to lead a band or orchestra

: a long thin stick with a ball at one end or both ends that is carried by someone who performs with or leads a marching band

: a stick that is passed from one runner to the next runner in a relay race


ba·ton | \bə-ˈtän, ba-\

Kids Definition of baton

1 : a thin stick with which a leader directs an orchestra or band

2 : a rod with a ball at one or both ends that is carried by a person leading a marching band

3 : a stick that is passed from one runner to the next in a relay race

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Comments on baton

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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