bat2 /bat/

b

I. noun

1. a mainly nocturnal mammal capable of sustained flight, with membranous wings that extend between the fingers and limbs.

●Order Chiroptera: many families and numerous species. The large tropical fruit bats (suborder Megachiroptera) generally have good eyesight and feed mainly on fruit; the numerous smaller bats (suborder Microchiroptera) are mouse-like in appearance, mainly insectivorous, and use ultrasonic echolocation.
2. (usu. old bat)
‹informal› a woman regarded as unattractive or unpleasant.

some deranged old bat.
[from bat, a slang term for ‘prostitute’, or from battleaxe.]
II. phrases

1. have bats in the (or one’s) belfry

‹informal› be eccentric or mad.

I’m goofy, I’m daft, there’s bats in my belfry.
2. like a bat out of hell

‹informal› very fast and wildly.

he was driving like a bat out of hell.
like a bat out of hell he flung himself at the man.
– origin late 16th cent.: alteration, perhaps by association with medieval Latin batta, blacta, of Middle English bakke, of Scandinavian origin.

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