from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An early form of badminton played with a flat wooden paddle and a shuttlecock.
  • n. The paddle used in this game.
  • n. A badminton racket.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A game played with a shuttlecock and rackets (properly battledore and shuttlecock); a forerunner of badminton.
  • n. The racket used in this game.
  • n. A child's hornbook for learning the alphabet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. same as battledoor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bat or beetle used in washing clothes, or for smoothing them out while being laundered.
  • n. An instrument shaped like a racket, but smaller, used in playing the game of battledore and shuttlecock.
  • n. A paddle for a canoe.
  • n. In glass-making, a flat square piece of polished iron with a wooden handle, used for flattening the bottoms of tumblers, or for similar purposes.
  • n. A kind of paddle with a long handle, used for placing loaves in a baker's oven.
  • n. A kind of horn-book: so called from its shape.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a light long-handled racket used by badminton players
  • n. an ancient racket game


Middle English batildore, perhaps blend of betel, bat; see beetle3 and Old Provençal batedor, bat (from battre, to beat, from Late Latin battere; see batter1).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • The shuttlecock is like our own, but the battledore is the sole of the foot.

    The English Governess at the Siamese Court

  • The combatants being stript and painted, and each provided with a kind of battledore or racket, in shape resembling the letter P, with a handle about two feet long and a head loosely wrought with net-work, so as to form a shallow bag, range themselves on different sides.

    Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 1

  • The combatants, being stripped and painted and each provided with a kind of battledore or racket, in shape resembling the letter P with a handle about two feet long and a head loosely wrought with network so as to form

    The Journey to the Polar Sea

  • Shuttlecock and battledore, "he said obscurely," ....

    “It was the Golden Fleece ready for the shearing.”

  • One day I gave thee a willow battledore and a shuttlecock with yellow, blue and green feathers.

    Les Miserables

  • Lane began by negotiating a truce in a price war in the Far East between Royal Dutch and Shell and by putting an end to what he called the damaging “battledore and shuttlecock game of accusation” between Samuel and Deterding.

    The Prize

  • The tradesman leaves his counter, and the car – man his waggon; the butcher throws down his tray; the baker his basket; the milkman his pail; the errand – boy his parcels; the school – boy his marbles; the paviour his pickaxe; the child his battledore.

    Oliver Twist

  • TUITION; and behind the blind was a little white – faced boy, with a slice of bread – and – butter and a battledore.

    Little Dorrit

  • His father too had loved games, playing battledore and shuttlecock even as Lille had fallen.


  • “Do you not feel that the girls should not be chucked about like balls from a battledore?” asked Mrs Dosett.

    Ayala's Angel


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  • "A kind of horn-book: so called from its shape." --CD&C

    January 15, 2013

  • A glassworker’s tool in the form of a square wooden paddle with a handle. Battledores are used to smooth the bottoms of vessels and other objects.

    November 9, 2007

  • Of course--how could I have missed it? Added!

    February 27, 2007

  • and shuttlecock? Now *there's* a word for your "not as awful as they sound" list! Shuttlecock!

    February 23, 2007

  • badminton racket

    February 23, 2007