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From French battue, ultimately from Latin battere. Doublet of battuta, which arrived via Italian.



battue (countable and uncountable, plural battues)

  1. (uncountable, hunting, often attributively) A form of hunting in which game is forced into the open by the beating of sticks on bushes, etc. [from early 19th c.]
    • 1863, “Marksman” [pseudonym], “Finishing Lessons”, in The Dead Shot; or, Sportsman’s Complete Guide: [], New York, N.Y.: W. A. Townsend, publisher, →OCLC, pages 203 and 204:
      [page 203] In battue, whenever a hen rises, the signal "ware hen!" is called out by the sportsman or beater who is nearest it: meaning thereby "beware of the hen;" or, literally, "do not shoot the hen pheasant." In most places where game is very strictly preserved, and the rules of sporting firmly adhered to, a fine is imposed on any one who kills a hen pheasant in battue. [] [page 204] No dogs need be used in battue, but beaters only: and it should be remembered that pheasants always run to the end or side of the cover before taking flight, unless they are much pressed: consequently the best sport always comes at the extreme end of the wood.
    • 1980, Sevyan Vainshtein, “Appropriative Economic Forms among the Tuvinian Nomads in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries”, in Michael Colenso, transl., edited by Caroline Humphrey, Nomads of South Siberia: The Pastoral Economies of Tuva (Cambridge Studies in Social Anthropology; 25), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 178:
      In the southern territories of Tuva saiga antelopes were hunted successfully by the battue method, using horse as chasers, and log pens constructed before the hunt. Several dozen animals could be caught in one hunt by this method.
    • 2007, Emma Griffin, “A New Era Dawns”, in Blood Sport: Hunting in Britain since 1066, New Haven, Conn., London: Yale University Press, →ISBN, page 120:
      The spread of battue hunting was limited before the 1840s, and most sporting handbooks continued to instruct their readers in the arts of walking up rather than battue hunting. [] Yet the gradual spread of the battue was unmistakable, much to the consternation of more traditionally minded sportsmen. Traditionalists took exception to the extensive slaughter that the grand battue hunt might involve and railed against the introduction of this 'abominable Gallic System'.
  2. (countable, hunting) A hunt performed in this manner.
    • 1827 May 1, “Diary for the Month of April”, in The London Magazine, volume VIII (New Series), London: Published by Hunt and Clarke, [], →OCLC, page 66:
      The battues have nothing whatever to do with the poaching, and once sufficiently grand battue would put an end to poaching altogether, by destroying all the game. The evil of which the chancellor should have spoken, is the excessive game preserving which allows of battues, or great massacres. The game is preserved till it swarms, and then it is slaughtered in swarms; but it is clearly not the massacre which provokes the poaching, but the temptation of the extraordinary abundance of game.
    • 1845 April 21, Sir Harry Verney (witness), “Minutes of Evidence Taken before the Select Committee on the Game Laws”, in Report from the Select Committee on the Game Laws, part I (Session 1845), [London: Ordered, by the House of Commons [of the United Kingdom], to be Printed], published 6 July 1846, →OCLC, paragraph 1202, page 59:
      What, in your comprehension, is a battue?—As far as I understand a battue, it is where the woods are beaten; where the game is beaten out by men instead of dogs.
    • 1845 July 9, Duke of Grafton [Augustus FitzRoy, 7th Duke of Grafton] (witness), “Minutes of Evidence Taken before the Select Committee on the Game Laws”, in Report from the Select Committee on the Game Laws, part I (Session 1845), [London: Ordered, by the House of Commons [of the United Kingdom], to be Printed], published 6 July 1846, →OCLC, paragraphs 15078, 15081, and 15083, page 777:
      In the collection of game for a battue, are the Committee to understand that game is driven into the covers from the various parts of the manor?—No; it is reared and bred in the covers, generally, I believe. [] You object to a battue where 800 or 900 head of game are killed?—Yes. [] I should prefer the battue system being done away entirely.
    • 1860, [Robert Smith Surtees], “Shooting and Slaughtering”, in “Plain or Ringlets?”, London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Co., [], →OCLC, page 193:
      [T]he Duke having duly conned over the eligible parties to ask, it was finally arranged that a Battue should inaugurate the Prince's visit. It required a little tact and consideration to get it up properly, for some people like battues while others don't.
    • 1860 September 1, “The Cost of a Battue”, in Charles Dickens, editor, All the Year Round. A Weekly Journal. [...] With which is Incorporated Household Words, volume III, number 71, London: No. 26, Wellington Street [printed by C. Whiting, []], →OCLC, page 485, column 2:
      A battue is a contrivance for killing the largest quantity of game in the smallest time, with the least amount of trouble, by a small select party. [] The peculiar charm of a battue appears to lie, first, in its enormous cost, which places it out of the reach of men of moderate means; next, in the arrangements for wholesale slaughter by people who, being neither good shots nor good walkers, are unable to take advantage of the working of well-trained dogs.
    • 2017, Karin Dirke, “Changing Narratives of Human: Large Carnivore Encounters in Nineteenth-century Sweden”, in Tuomas Räsänen, Taina Syräjmaa, editors, Shared Lives of Humand and Animals: Animal Agency in the Global North, Abingdon, Oxon., New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, page 167:
      The admiration of the bear made the hunt appear as a royal performance with the bear as a revered participant. During the nineteenth century battues for large carnivores were quite frequently narrated as instructive stories about the organization of the hunt.

Related terms[edit]





From Portuguese batuda or Italian battuta ("a beating"). See Latin battuo ("to beat").



battue f (plural battues)

  1. battue; the beating of bushes to force out the game
  2. hunt, search
    La police a organisé des battues pour retrouver l’enfant disparu.The police organized search parties in order to find the missing child.


  • English: battue


battue f sg

  1. feminine singular of battu

Further reading[edit]





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of battuō