bat·​tue | \ ba-ˈtü How to pronounce battue (audio) , -ˈtyü \

Definition of battue

: the beating of woods and bushes to flush game also : a hunt in which this procedure is used

Did you know?

The battue is a technique practiced by hunters in order to give them a clean shot at their targets. The hunters’ assistants (or sometimes the hunters themselves) rap sticks against trees and bushes in order to scare animals out of the woods and into open space. The practice appears to have originated in France, which is probably why the word battue, which debuted in English in the early 19th century, derives from the feminine past participle of the French verb battre, meaning "to beat." Although some hunting traditionalists decried the practice as either cruel or unsportsmanlike when it began, the battue survives today, as does the word for it.

First Known Use of battue

1816, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for battue

French, from feminine of battu, past participle of battre to beat

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About battue

Listen to Our Podcast About battue

Statistics for battue

Cite this Entry

“Battue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!