AskDefine | Define batten

Dictionary Definition



1 stuffing made of rolls or sheets of cotton wool or synthetic fiber [syn: batting]
2 a strip fixed to something to hold it firm


1 furnish with battens; "batten ships" [syn: batten down, secure]
2 secure with battens; "batten down a ship's hatches"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A thin strip of wood used in construction to hold members of a structure together or to provide a fixing point.
  2. A long strip of wood, metal, fibreglass etc used for various purposes aboard ship, esp. one inserted in a pocket sewn on the sail in order to keep the sail flat.
  3. In stagecraft, a long pipe, usually metal, affixed to the ceiling or fly system in a Theater.


thin strip of wood used in construction
aboard a ship, a long strip that e.g. keeps a sail flat


  1. to fasten or secure a hatch etc using battens.


  • FM 55-501 Marine Crewman’s Handbook

Extensive Definition

A batten is a thin strip of solid material (usually wood). Battens are used for various purposes in building construction, as well as other various fields.

Roofing battens

Battens are used to provide a fixing point for roofing sheet or roof tiles. The orientation and spacing of the battens depends on the type of roof. Battens may be oriented at right angles to the trusses or rafters of a roof, like purlins. They may be parallel to the slope of the roof, as on a batten seam roof, where the battens cover seams in the roofing material and are themselves covered by metal caps. Some roofs may use a grid of battens in both directions, known as a counter-batten system.

Batten trim

Batten trim, or batten molding, is a thin strip of trim, typically with a rectangular cross-section, used to cover seams between panels of exterior siding or interior paneling. Board-and-batten siding is an exterior treatment of vertical boards with battens covering the seams.

Other uses

In cabinetry, battens may be used to strengthen panels made up of multiple boards, as in a batten door, or to cover joins.
In sailing, battens are long, thin strips (usually fiberglass, or some similar material, nowadays, but historically wooden) used to support the roach of a sail.
In stagecraft, a batten or rail is a long pipe, usually metal, affixed to the ceiling or fly system in a theater.
In the steel industry, battens may also be referred to as "Top hats", in reference to the profile of the metal.

External Links

An example of a barn that was built using board & batten siding
batten in German: segellatte

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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