ba·​ton | \ bə-ˈtän How to pronounce baton (audio) , 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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Synonyms for baton


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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 The Joule is a slim cylinder about the size of a relay baton. Brad Leone, Bon Appétit, "The Joule Is the Best Sous Vide Machine We’ve Ever Used," 30 Apr. 2021 The quirky clip features Willcox dressed as a cop, holding a badge and baton with aviator sunglasses. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, "Robert Fripp, Toyah Willcox Go Heavy Metal With Cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking the Law’," 12 Apr. 2021 In one video, a Trump supporter can be heard urging the crowd not to throw objects or hurt law enforcement as another attempts to bash an officer with the pointy end of a baton. Andrew Solender, Forbes, "Violent New Capitol Riot Footage Shows Police Pelted With Large Objects, Sprayed With Extinguisher," 18 Mar. 2021 Conducting without a baton, Luisi drew out lively and vivid playing from the DSO in chamber orchestra formations. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Review: Stylish Mozart from Fabio Luisi, Erin Hannigan and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra," 29 Apr. 2021 Knead one half a few times and roll into a 30-inch baton, making sure the ends don’t taper too much. Washington Post, "Learning to make pandesal, the everyday rolls of the Philippines, is a labor of love," 27 Apr. 2021 Police said a group of people tried to grab an officer's baton, and at least one officer's tires were flattened. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Portland protesters disrupt investigation into fatal police shooting of man," 16 Apr. 2021 Through 42, Sech picks up the proverbial baton from Panamanian musical legends of the past and reminds the world of his country’s integral role in molding a sound that’s now a phenomenon that’s transcended borders everywhere. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, "From Panama With Love: Sech Reinterprets Reggaeton’s Roots for the World," 15 Apr. 2021 In 60 seconds of unforgettable television footage, the world saw water cannons and baton-wielding officers attack defenseless marchers without restraint. James Waller, The Conversation, "Northern Ireland, born of strife 100 years ago, again erupts in political violence," 12 Apr. 2021

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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Statistics for baton

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Baton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce baton (audio) , 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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Nglish: Translation of baton for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of baton for Arabic Speakers

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