baton /ˈbat(ə)n/


I. noun

1. a short stick or something resembling one, in particular:
2. a thin stick used by a conductor to direct an orchestra or choir.
[Athletics] a short stick or tube passed from runner to runner in a relay race.
4. a long stick carried and twirled by a drum major.
5. a police officer’s truncheon.
6. a staff of office or authority, especially one carried by a field marshal.
[Heraldry] a narrow bend truncated at each end.
8. a short bar replacing some figures on the dial of a clock or watch.
9. ( batons) one of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to wands in others.
II. phrases

1. pass (on) the baton
hand over a particular duty or responsibility.

the technique allows us to pass the baton to the next generation.
2. take up (or pick up) the baton
accept a particular duty or responsibility.

it was left to the capital’s campuses to take up the baton.
3. under the baton of
(of an orchestra or choir) conducted by

the contract also allows for the orchestra to record under the baton of Sir Edward Downes.
– origin early 16th cent. (denoting a staff or cudgel): from French bâton, earlier baston, from late Latin bastum ‘stick’.

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