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Baton vs. Batton: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 18, 2023
Baton refers to a thin stick used in conducting or for relay races, while Batton is a variant spelling of "batten," often meaning a supportive or reinforcing strip of wood.

Key Differences

Baton is commonly recognized as a thin stick or rod, especially one used by a conductor to direct an orchestra or choir. Across the globe, music aficionados would readily identify a baton in the hands of a maestro, directing the ebb and flow of a musical piece.
Batton, on the other hand, is less frequently used. It's an alternate spelling of "batten," which typically denotes a strip of wood or metal used to strengthen or secure something. Builders and carpenters are often familiar with battons in the context of construction or repair.
In the world of sports, a baton is used in relay races. Athletes pass the baton to their teammates, symbolizing the transfer of responsibility to the next runner.
Batton, in its association with "batten," can also refer to a long flat strip of wood used on the exterior of a building, or the interior for that matter, to cover joins or as a design element. The term is prevalent in carpentry and home design.
Baton also has symbolic significance. For instance, in law enforcement, a baton can be a weapon — an extendable stick wielded by police officers. It's an instrument of authority and order.
In contrast, batton doesn't carry such symbolism. Its usage, being related to "batten," is generally restricted to more practical and functional contexts, like construction and carpentry.

Comparison Chart

Primary Definition

Thin stick for conducting or racing.
Alternate spelling of "batten" - wood/metal strip.

Usage in Sports

Used in relay races.
Not directly associated with sports.

Symbolic Meaning

Can symbolize authority (as in police batons).
Lacks symbolic meanings.

Common Associations

Music, relay races, law enforcement.
Construction, carpentry.

Variant Spelling

Not typically spelled differently.
Sometimes spelled as "batten".

Baton and Batton Definitions


A rod passed between runners in a relay race.
She sprinted forward, grasping the baton from her teammate.


A flat strip covering seams in shipbuilding.
The batton ensured no water seeped through the ship's cracks.


A decorative rod from which curtains hang.
She pulled the baton to draw the curtains closed.


A strip of wood used in construction.
He nailed the batton across the two posts for support.


A thin rod used by conductors to lead an orchestra or choir.
The conductor raised his baton and the music began.


A piece of wood placed on a door for added strength.
The batton made the old door sturdier and less likely to break.


A symbol of authority or office.
The outgoing president handed over the baton of leadership to her successor.


A reinforcing strip on a sail.
The sail's batton had snapped in the strong winds.


(Music) A slender wooden stick or rod used by a conductor to direct an orchestra, band, or other musical group.


A flat strip on a building's exterior for design.
The wooden battons gave the house a rustic charm.


A hollow metal rod with a heavy rubber tip or tips that is wielded and twirled by a drum major or drum majorette.


Archaic form of batten


A short staff carried by certain public officials as a symbol of office.


Archaic form of baton


(Sports) The hollow cylinder that is carried by each member of a relay team in a running race and passed to the next team member.


See Batten, and Baton.


A short stick carried by police; a billy club.


(Heraldry) A shortened narrow bend, often signifying bastardy.


A staff or truncheon, used for various purposes.
A field marshal's baton


(music) The stick of a conductor in musical performances.


(sports) An object transferred by runners in a relay race.


(US) A short stout club used primarily by policemen; a truncheon UK.


(heraldry) A bend with the ends cut off, resembling a baton, typically borne sinister, and often used as a mark of cadency, initially for both legitimate and illegitimate children, but later chiefly for illegitimate children.


A short vertical lightweight post, not set into the ground, used to separate wires in a fence.


To strike with a baton.


A staff or truncheon, used for various purposes; as, the baton of a field marshal; the baton of a conductor in musical performances.
He held the baton of command.


An ordinary with its ends cut off, borne sinister as a mark of bastardy, and containing one fourth in breadth of the bend sinister; - called also bastard bar. See Bend sinister.


A thin tapered rod used by a conductor to direct an orchestra


An implement passed from runner to runner in a relay race


An extendable rod used as a weapon by police.
The officer held the baton firmly, ready for any threat.


What's the primary use of a batton in construction?

A batton, or batten, is a supportive strip of wood or metal.

What's a common use for a baton in music?

A baton is used by conductors to direct an orchestra or choir.

Is a baton related to construction?

Not typically; "batton" or "batten" is the term related to construction.

Are "batton" and "batten" the same thing?

Yes, "batton" is an alternate spelling of "batten."

What material is a batton typically made of?

It's often made of wood or metal.

Can a baton be a weapon?

Yes, police often use batons as weapons for self-defense.

Do relay racers use a baton or batton?

They use a baton.

Is batton a standard English word?

It's less standard and is often spelled "batten."

Can a baton symbolize authority?

Yes, such as in the context of police batons or symbolic passing of responsibility.

Can batons be extendable?

Yes, especially those used by police as weapons.

Would you use a batton in an orchestra?

No, orchestras use batons.

What's the primary purpose of a baton in a relay race?

It's passed between runners to transfer responsibility.

In what sport is a baton prominently featured?

In relay races in track and field.

Can baton refer to a decorative item?

Yes, it can refer to a rod from which curtains hang.

Is batton ever used in sports?

Not typically; "baton" is the term related to sports.

Is baton related to "batten"?

No, "baton" and "batten" (or "batton") have different meanings and uses.

In what kind of design would a batton be used?

In architectural or interior design, especially on buildings' exteriors or doors.

Are batons only used in sports and music?

No, they also have uses in law enforcement and as symbols of authority.

Is batton commonly used in everyday language?

It's less common than "batten" and is primarily used in specific contexts like construction.

What does a batton reinforce in shipbuilding?

It reinforces and covers seams to prevent water seepage.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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