Definition of baton noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbætɒn//
    , BrE//ˈbætɒ̃//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bəˈtɑːn//
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  1. 1(also truncheon) (both especially British English) (usually North American English nightstick) a short thick stick that police officers carry as a weapon a baton charge (= one made by police carrying batons, to force a crowd back)
  2. 2a thin light stick used by the person (called a conductor) who is in control of an orchestra, etc. The orchestra played brilliantly under Previn’s baton.
  3. 3a short light stick that one member of a team in a relay race passes to the next person to run to pass/hand over the baton (figurative) The President handed over the baton (= passed responsibility) to his successor. See related entries: Athletics
  4. 4a long stick that is held and thrown in the air by a person marching in front of a band, or by a majorette
  5. Word Originearly 16th cent. (denoting a staff or cudgel): from French bâton, earlier baston, from late Latin bastum ‘stick’.Extra examples Five people were injured in the baton charge. He tapped his baton on the music stand to get everyone’s attention. The orchestra made the recording under the baton of a young German conductor. The police were ordered to draw their batons and disperse the crowd.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: baton

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