bat·​tue ba-ˈtü How to pronounce battue (audio)
: 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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1816, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of battue was in 1816


Dictionary Entries Near battue

Cite this Entry

“Battue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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