battery


battery
battery 1530s, "action of battering," from M.Fr. batterie, from O.Fr. baterie (12c.) "beating, thrashing, assault," from batre "beat," from L. battuere "beat" (see BATTER (Cf. batter) (v.)). Meaning shifted in M.Fr. from "bombardment" ("heavy blows" upon city walls or fortresses) to "unit of artillery" (a sense recorded in English from 1550s). Extension to "electrical cell" (1748, first used by Ben Franklin) is perhaps from the artillery sense via notion of "discharges" of electricity. In M.E., bateri meant only "forged metal ware." In obsolete baseball jargon battery was the word for "pitcher and catcher" considered as a unit (1867, originally only the pitcher).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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