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Related to battening: batten down
v. bat·tened, bat·ten·ing, bat·tens
1. To become fat.
2. To thrive and prosper, especially at another's expense: "[She] battens like a leech on the lives of famous people, ... a professional retailer of falsehoods" (George F. Will).
To fatten; overfeed.
a. One of several flexible strips of wood or plastic placed in pockets at the outer edge of a sail to keep it flat.
b. A narrow strip of wood used to fasten down the edges of the material that covers hatches in foul weather.
2. A narrow strip of wood used in construction, especially to cover a seam between boards, as flooring material, or as a lath.
a. The heavy swinging bar on a loom that holds the reed and is pulled forward to pack down the weft.
b. A flat stick used in weaving by hand to separate the upper and lower threads of the warp and to tighten the weft.
tr.v. bat·tened, bat·ten·ing, bat·tensIdiom:
Nautical To furnish, fasten, or secure with battens: battened down the hatch during the storm.
batten down the hatches
To prepare for an imminent disaster or emergency.
[Alteration of Middle English batent, finished board or bar of wood, from Old French batant, wooden strip, clapper, from present participle of batre, to beat; see batter1. Noun, sense 3a and b, from French batant, from Old French.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.