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hand over the baton

To bestow a particular responsibility or job on someone. The phrase refers to a relay race in which one runner literally passes a baton to the next runner. I have so much work to do now that my boss has retired and handed over the baton to me.
See also: baton, hand, over

pass the baton


hand over the baton

If you pass the baton or hand over the baton to someone, you give them responsibility for something. Does this mean that the baton of leadership is going to be passed to other nations? Last year, he handed over the baton to his younger colleague. Note: You can also say that you pick up the baton, meaning that you take over responsibility for something from someone else. Now, Colin's son, Clive, has picked up the baton and the company has a bright future. Note: In a relay race, team members pass on a baton as they finish running their stage of the race.
See also: baton, pass

pass (or hand) on the baton

hand over a particular duty or responsibility.
In athletics, the baton is the short stick or rod passed from one runner to the next in a relay race. The related phrases pick up or take up the baton mean ‘accept a duty or responsibility’. Compare with hand on the torch (at torch).
See also: baton, on, pass

under the baton of

(of an orchestra or choir) conducted by.
The baton here is the rod used by the conductor.
See also: baton, of
References in classic literature ?
Colbert was right," thought D'Artagnan; "for me the baton of a marechal of France will cost the lives of my two friends.
A military gentleman with a field-marshal's baton in his
The wound was, however, but a slight one, and the Frenchman was about to renew his onset, when, at a sign from the prince, Chandos threw down his baton, and the marshals of the lists struck up the weapons and brought the contest to an end.
He sang an ancient song of Killisnook and brandished his whip like a baton.
A curt negative was the policeman's reply to that; and if ever I take part in a night assault-at-arms, revolver versus baton, in the back kitchen, I know which member of the Metropolitan Police Force I should like for my opponent.
Let a prejudice be bequeathed, carried in the air, adopted by hearsay, caught in through the eye,--however it may come, these minds will give it a habitation; it is something to assert strongly and bravely, something to fill up the void of spontaneous ideas, something to impose on others with the authority of conscious right; it is at once a staff and a baton.
The undertaker, instructed to spare no expense, provided long-tailed black horses, with black palls on their backs and black plumes upon their foreheads; coachmen decorated with scarves and jack-boots, black hammercloths, cloaks, and gloves, with many hired mourners, who, however, would have been instantly discharged had they presumed to betray emotion, or in any way overstep their function of walking beside the hearse with brass-tipped batons in their hands.
To put things shortly, he began a speech which had neither beginning nor ending, and cried out, a batons rompus, that I was a boy whom he would soon put to rights--and so forth, and so forth.
and who beareth quarterly, first, argent, a wolf ravisant carrying a lamb gules; second, purpure, three mascles argent, two and one; third, paly of twelve, gules and argent; fourth, or, on a pale endorsed, three batons fleurdelises gules; supported by four griffon's-claws jessant from the sides of the escutcheon, with the motto "En Lupus in Historia," was able to surmount these rather satirical arms with a count's coronet.
He joined other runners as the baton travelled along the River Ness heading to Spean Bridge.
The relay then moved the International Stadium and then to the Millennium Bridge where baton bearer Brendan handed it over to former British triple jumper Jonathan Edwards.
BIRMINGHAM is welcoming the Queen's Baton Relay today.
HUNDREDS of spectators turned out to watch the Queen's Baton Relay yesterday as it was carried up Snowdon and across the Menai Strait to Anglesey.
THE Queen's Baton Relay reached our highest peak yesterday as it continued its journey through Wales.