See also: Battery


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


  • IPA(key): /ˈbæt.ə.ɹi/, /ˈbæt.ɹi/
  • Audio (UK):(file)
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: bat‧te‧ry
  • Rhymes: -ætəɹi, -ætɹi


Electrical batteries
A cannon battery

battery (countable and uncountable, plural batteries)

  1. (countable, electronics) A device used to power electric devices, consisting of a set of electrically connected electrochemical or, archaically, electrostatic cells. A single such cell when used by itself.
    • 1749 Benjamin Franklin, letter to Peter Collinson
      Upon this We made what we call’d an Electrical Battery, consisting of eleven Panes of large Sash Glass, arm’d with thin leaden Plates, pasted on each Side...
      A Turky is to be killed for our Dinners by the Electrical Shock; and roasted by the electrical Jack, before a Fire kindled by the Electrified Bottle; when the Healths of all the Famous Electricians in England, France and Germany, are to be drank in Electrified Bumpers, under the Discharge of Guns from the Electrical Battery.
    • 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) The infliction of unlawful physical violence on a person, legally distinguished from assault, which includes the threat of impending violence.
    • 2003, Mike Molan, Modern Criminal Law, 5th edition, 7.2.2-3, pages 221–222:
      [] 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.
    • 2023 May 9, Lola Fadulu, “New York law gave jurors three types of battery to consider in the Trump case.”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      He offered three types of battery for which Mr. Trump might be liable under New York law: rape, sexual abuse and forcible touching.
  3. (countable) 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, pages 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 pieces working together on the same rank, file, or diagonal
  9. (music) A marching percussion ensemble; the section of the drumline that marches on the field during a performance.
  10. The state of a firearm when it is possible to be fired.
  11. (archaic) Apparatus for preparing or serving meals.

Derived terms



  • Korean: 배터리 (baeteori)



See also