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batten down

To close, fasten, or secure something with battens, flexible strips of wood or plastic used to hold material down. A noun or pronoun can be used between "batten" and "down." Be sure to batten the sails down before the storm gets any worse!
See also: batten, down

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

batten down the hatches

To prepare for an imminent disaster or emergency.
See also: batten, down, hatch
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
10 Clamp the 23-inch-long battens to the door, and drill pilot holes for the clinched nails all the way through the battens and boards.
The eyes of the medical world will now be on Jessica to see to see if giving the treatment early to a healthy child could stop the symptoms of Battens ever presenting themselves.
Just hours after Liam's death, they found the strength to issue a statement paying tribute to their precious boy and pledging to stand by others at war with Battens.
Using a wood bit in your drill driver make pilot holes through the timber battens.
The bottom line is that the more full-length battens, or framework, is used, the more durable the sail will be, and the better it will hold it shape in a breeze.
GOING PLACES: 500-year-old Battens Farm has moved from Redditch to Ipsley
This should only be done over one of the battens, and remember to stagger the joints.
Rather than fixing them directly to the wall, though, you attach them to a series of battens fixed to the wall, around 40cm apart.
Battens were tested to evaluate their capacity for being shaped and bent using steaming, a traditional boat-building technique, and the durability of joints was assessed through tension tests.
It was produced by a fateful combination of business skill and serendipity, says Frank Batten, who, with Jeffrey L.
Led by Batten sisters Mirian and Guin, the foursome were bidding to become the first ever Brits to win a women's rowing medal.
Symbolic carvings on the miniature battens in Tomb 7 suggest that they were part of a bundle of objects often buried with high-ranking male priests, Flannery and Marcus contend.
Eventually, children with Battens can become blind, bedridden and demented.
Run a line of glue along the top of both battens and lay the shelf directly on top, gently pressing it down until it stays in place.