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

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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.

Examples of battue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But defeating a healthy, confident Nadal on the terre battue of Paris is still one of sport’s greatest challenges. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Rafael Nadal, His Brilliance Undimmed by the Years, Wins His 10th French Open," 11 June 2017 What matters most, of course, is that everyone emerges safe and sound from 15 days of watching forehands, backhands and long, sweeping slides in the terre battue. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Security Tightened in Paris for French Open," 20 May 2016

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

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

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The first known use of battue was in 1816

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Cite this Entry

“Battue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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