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

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 Townsend was in possession of a collapsible baton which he is accused of displaying, police said. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Greenwood man accused of pointing gun while driving in I-65 road rage incident," 8 July 2018 The officer hit Carnegay with his baton seven times, leaving him with two broken bones in the victim’s right leg. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Ex-cop sentenced to 5 years in prison for beating man he accused of being Walmart shoplifter," 8 May 2018 Another officer, Christopher Manney, responded, woke him up and a confrontation ensued, in which Manney said Hamilton took his baton, prompting him to shoot Hamilton 14 times. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After the fatal shooting of a mentally ill man, Milwaukee police promised better training. Here's how they did it.," 2 Feb. 2018 After pointing the weapon at the group, the officer drew a baton as another officer handcuffed Jacob Saucedo on the ground. Ryan Tarinelli, The Seattle Times, "Mom says Texas officer choked boy before aiming gun at kids," 9 July 2018 The previous record holder, Frank Giannino Jr., was on hand to give his congratulations by handing Kostelnick a symbolic golden baton. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Ultrarunning Hall of Fame," 29 June 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

7 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

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