batten

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batten down the hatches

To prepare for a challenging situation. While this originated as a nautical phrase, it is now used for any sort of imminent problem. There's a tornado coming—batten down the hatches! My mother-in-law is coming to town this weekend, so I better batten down the hatches.
See also: batten, down, hatch

batten down the hatches

Fig. to prepare for difficult times. (From a nautical expression meaning, literally, to seal the hatches against the arrival of a storm. The word order is fixed.) Here comes that contentious Mrs. Jones. Batten down the hatches! Batten down the hatches, Congress is in session again.
See also: batten, down, hatch

batten down the hatches

Prepare for trouble, as in Here comes the boss-batten down the hatches. This term originated in the navy, where it signified preparing for a storm by fastening down canvas over doorways and hatches (openings) with strips of wood called battens. [Late 1800s]
See also: batten, down, hatch

batten down the hatches

If you batten down the hatches, you prepare for a difficult situation by doing everything you can to protect yourself. While most companies are battening down the hatches, fearing recession, Blenheim is leading an assault on the US market. Banks seem to be battening down the hatches in anticipation of further trouble. Note: Battens are strips of wood used for fastening things down. Hatches are openings in the deck of a ship, or the wooden flaps which cover the openings.
See also: batten, down, hatch

batten down the hatches

prepare for a difficulty or crisis.
Batten down the hatches was originally a nautical term meaning ‘make a ship's hatches secure with gratings and tarpaulins’ in expectation of stormy weather.
1998 Oldie They endured the hard pounding of the Seventies, when Labour battened down the hatches, and soldiered through the follies of the early Eighties.
See also: batten, down, hatch

ˌbatten down the ˈhatches

prepare yourself for a period of difficulty or trouble: Hollywood is battening down the hatches in expectation of a strike by actors and writers this summer.A batten is a long piece of wood which was used to hold down strong material in order to cover a ship’s hatches (= openings in the deck of a boat leading to the lower level) in a storm.
See also: batten, down, hatch

batten down the hatches

To prepare for an imminent disaster or emergency.
See also: batten, down, hatch

batten down the hatches, to

To get ready for trouble. A nautical term dating from the early nineteenth century, it signified preparing for bad weather by fastening down the battens, strips of wood nailed to various parts of masts and spars, and fastening tarpaulins over the ship’s hatchways (doorways and other openings). The term began to be used figuratively as preparing for any emergency by the late nineteenth century. See also clear the decks.
See also: batten, down