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From Middle French batterie, from Old French baterie ‎(action of beating), from batre ‎(battre), from Latin battuō ‎(beat).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbætəɹi/, /ˈbætɹi/
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Electrical batteries
A cannon battery

battery ‎(plural batteries)

  1. A set of electrically connected electrochemical or electrostatic cells (Wikipedia).
    • 2012, John Karsnitz, ‎et al, Engineering Design: An Introduction, page 364:
      [For his experiments with electricity,] Benjamin Franklin utilized Leyden jars and referred to several jars hooked together as a battery (after a "battery" of cannon).
    • 2012, Christian Glaize & Sylvie Genies, Lead and Nickel Electrochemical Batteries, page 6:
      [The voltage of a single cell is] too low for most applications [... so] a series of cells will be used to obtain the desired voltage – a "battery" of cells, in the strictest sense of the term.
  2. (law) Act of inflicting unlawful physical violence to a person, legally distinguished from assault which includes the threat of impending violence.
    • 2003, Mike Molan, Modern Criminal Law, section 7.2.2-3:
      A battery is the actual infliction of unlawful personal violence. [...] [The defendant] fell to the ground and lashed out with his feet and in doing so kicked the hand of one of the police officers, fracturing a bone. He was charged with assault [...] although this was a battery.
  3. A coordinated group of artillery weapons.
    • 2005, Barry Leonard, Field Artillery in Military Operations Other Than War, page 20:
      the marines had six 8-inch howitzers, eight 4.2-inch mortars, and three 105-mm howitzer batteries, each with six pieces.
  4. (historical, archaic) An elevated platform on which cannon could be placed.
    • 2015, Justin S. Solonick, Engineering Victory: The Union Siege of Vicksburg, page 142-143:
      The construction of advanced batteries mirrored that of those built along the line of circumvallation. [...] Although Mahan demanded that batteries be constructed to exacting dimensions and revetted with gabions, fascines, and sandbags, at Vicksburg the resources at hand determined what materials soldiers used to build what they termed artillery "forts".
    • 1780, John Robertson et al, The Elements of Navigation, page 53:
      such forts being so contrived as to have two or three batteries, one higher than the other, furnished with many cannon.
    • 1776, Charles Carroll & Brantz Mayer, Journal of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, page 97:
      His grand battery was as badly provided with cannon as his little battery, for not a single gun was mounted on either.
    • 1766, John Entick, A New and Accurate History and Survey of London, page 337:
      On this wharf [Tower Bridge wharf] there is a long and beautiful platform, on which are planted 61 pieces of cannon [...] Devil's Battery, where is also a platform, on which are mounted seven pieces of cannon, although on the battery itself there are only five.
  5. An array of similar things.
    Schoolchildren take a battery of standard tests to measure their progress.
  6. A set of small cages where hens are kept for the purpose of farming their eggs.
  7. (baseball) The catcher and the pitcher together
  8. (chess) Two or more major pieces on the same rank, file, or diagonal
  9. The state of a firearm when it is possible to be fired.

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