bat·​tery | \ˈba-t(ə-)rē \
plural batteries

Definition of battery 

1a : the act of beating someone or something with successive blows : the act of battering (see batter entry 1 sense 1)

b law : an offensive touching or use of force on a person without the person's consent evidence that supports a charge of battery — compare assault entry 1 sense 2a

2 [ Middle French batterie, from battre to beat ] military

a : a grouping of artillery pieces for tactical (see tactical sense 1a(1)) purposes a battery of cannon from the Revolutionary War

b : the guns of a warship the starboard battery

3 military : an artillery (see artillery sense 2b) unit in the army equivalent to a company (see company entry 1 sense 2b)

4a : a combination of apparatus for producing a single electrical effect a battery of generators

b : a group of two or more cells (see cell sense 5) connected together to furnish electric current also : a single cell that furnishes electric current need to replace the flashlight's batteries

c batteries plural : level of energy or enthusiasm needs a vacation to recharge her batteries

5a(1) : a number of similar articles, items, or devices arranged, connected, or used together : set, series ran through a battery of tests a battery of filing cabinets

(2) : a series of cages or compartments for raising or fattening poultry often used before another noun battery chickensbattery farming

b : a usually impressive or imposing group : array a battery of specialists

6 : the position of readiness of a gun for firing the gun would not return to batteryInfantry Journal

7 baseball : the pitcher and catcher of a team one of the greatest batteries in baseball history

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Examples of battery in a Sentence

I bought new batteries for the flashlights. The operation was performed by a battery of doctors.

Recent Examples on the Web

But while Elon Musk’s company is now set on showing EVs can also be affordable and accessible for the masses, with the minimalist Model 3, others are taking batteries and motors in the opposite direction. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Pininfarina's Back With a $2 Million Electric Hypercar," 14 July 2018 As with other traditional hybrids, the gasoline engine shuts off automatically whenever the car comes to a stop, and the vehicle can start moving again on battery power alone for a bit before the engine kicks back on. G. Chambers Williams Iii, Houston Chronicle, "COMPACT," 13 July 2018 Area residents may bring trash, yard waste, furniture, window AC units, appliances, paint, automobile batteries and scrap metal. Cody Boteler,, "Riverview, Ryerson Circle communities, along with Lansdowne association, host cleanup day this Saturday," 13 July 2018 Rosales was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2013 pleading guilty to home invasion and aggravated battery. Staff Report, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin man gets 28 years for beating that left victims with broken teeth, permanent scars," 12 July 2018 Eventually, battery technology got to the point where most all-electric cars easily maxed out that $7,500 cap. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will be the first automaker to lose the federal tax credit for electric cars," 12 July 2018 As in a battery being charged, charged ions flow between two electrodes supplied with electricity. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon," 12 July 2018 Mini-grids are banks of batteries often charged by solar arrays. The Economist, "Mini-grids may be the best way to illuminate the “bottom billion”," 12 July 2018 During the altercation, an alleged battery took place. Dan White,, "Coral Springs, Coconut Creek area crime reports," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'battery.' 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 battery

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for battery

Anglo-French baterie, from batre to beat, from Latin battuere

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Statistics for battery

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for battery

The first known use of battery was in 1531

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More Definitions for battery



English Language Learners Definition of battery

: a device that is placed inside a machine (such as a clock, toy, or car) to supply it with electricity

: a usually large group of similar people, things, or ideas that work together, are used together, etc.

: a group of two or more big guns used by the military


bat·​tery | \ˈba-tə-rē \
plural batteries

Kids Definition of battery

1 : two or more big military guns that are controlled as a unit

2 : an electric cell or connected electric cells for providing electric current a flashlight battery

3 : a number of similar items or devices grouped together a battery of tests

4 : an unlawful touching or use of force on a person against his or her will


bat·​tery | \ˈbat-ə-rē, ˈba-trē \
plural batteries

Medical Definition of battery 

1a : a combination of apparatus for producing a single electrical effect

b : a group of two or more cells connected together to furnish electric current also : a single cell that furnishes electric current

2 : a group or series of tests especially : a group of intelligence or personality tests given to a subject as an aid in psychological analysis

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bat·​tery | \ˈba-tə-rē, -trē \

Legal Definition of battery 

: the crime or tort of intentionally or recklessly causing offensive physical contact or bodily harm (as by striking or by administering a poison or drug) that is not consented to by the victim — compare assault

aggravated battery

: criminal battery that is accompanied by aggravating factors: as

a : criminal battery that causes or is intended to cause serious bodily injury especially through the use of a dangerous weapon

b : criminal battery committed on a protected person (as a minor or a police officer) — compare simple battery in this entry

Note: Aggravated battery is usually classified as a felony.

sexual battery

: intentional and offensive sexual contact and especially sexual intercourse with a person who has not given or (as in the case of a child) is incapable of giving consent broadly : forced or coerced contact with the sexual parts of either the victim or the perpetrator — see also rape

Note: This is a broad definition of the offense. The specific elements of this crime vary from state to state, and some states use more narrow definitions.

simple battery

: criminal battery that is not accompanied by aggravating factors (as a dangerous weapon) — compare aggravated battery in this entry

Note: Simple battery is usually classified as a misdemeanor.

History and Etymology for battery

Old French batterie beating, from battre to beat, from Latin battuere

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Comments on battery

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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