To batten down the hatches

Hatch Hatch, n. [OE. hacche, AS. h[ae]c, cf. haca the bar of a door, D. hek gate, Sw. h["a]ck coop, rack, Dan. hekke manger, rack. Prob. akin to E. hook, and first used of something made of pieces fastened together. Cf. {Heck}, {Hack} a frame.] 1. A door with an opening over it; a half door, sometimes set with spikes on the upper edge. [1913 Webster]

In at the window, or else o'er the hatch. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. A frame or weir in a river, for catching fish. [1913 Webster]

3. A flood gate; a sluice gate. --Ainsworth. [1913 Webster]

4. A bedstead. [Scot.] --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

5. An opening in the deck of a vessel or floor of a warehouse which serves as a passageway or hoistway; a hatchway; also; a cover or door, or one of the covers used in closing such an opening. [1913 Webster]

6. (Mining) An opening into, or in search of, a mine. [1913 Webster]

{Booby hatch}, {Buttery hatch}, {Companion hatch}, etc. See under {Booby}, {Buttery}, etc.

{To batten down the hatches} (Naut.), to lay tarpaulins over them, and secure them with battens.

{To be under hatches}, to be confined below in a vessel; to be under arrest, or in slavery, distress, etc. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • batten down the hatches — If you batten down the hatches, you prepare for the worst that could happen to you …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • batten down the hatches — 1. To prepare for a crisis 2. Orig to secure the hatches on a ship against bad weather • • • Main Entry: ↑batten …   Useful english dictionary

  • batten down the hatches — ► batten down the hatches 1) secure a ship s tarpaulins. 2) prepare for a difficulty or crisis. Main Entry: ↑batten …   English terms dictionary

  • batten down the hatches —    If you batten down the hatches, you prepare for the worst that could happen to you.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    When you batten down the hatches, you prepare yourself for trouble or a forthcoming difficult period, like a ship… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • batten down the hatches — to prepare yourself for a difficult period by protecting yourself in every possible way. When you re coming down with a cold, all you can do is batten down the hatches and wait for the body to fight it off …   New idioms dictionary

  • batten down the hatches — verb a) Prepare for trouble. b) To cover the hatches on a sailing ship with tarpaulins and nail the edges down with battens, to prevent water getting below decks in a storm …   Wiktionary

  • batten down the hatches — Meaning Origin Nautical origin probably 18th century. A batten is a strip of wood; these were used to hold down sheets of canvas to cover hatchways in storms …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • batten down the hatches — idi a) to cover a ship s hatches with tarpaulins held in place with battens b) to prepare to meet an emergency …   From formal English to slang

  • batten down the hatches — 1》 Nautical secure a ship s tarpaulins. 2》 prepare for a difficult situation. → batten …   English new terms dictionary

  • batten down the hatches — phrasal to prepare for a difficult or dangerous situation …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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