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[pat-n] /ˈpæt n/
any of various kinds of footwear, as a wooden shoe, a shoe with a wooden sole, a chopine, etc., to protect the feet from mud or wetness.
a separate sole attached to a shoe or boot for this purpose.
Building Trades. any stand or support, especially one of a number resting on unbroken ground as a substitute for a foundation.
Origin of patten
1350-1400; Middle English paten < Middle French patin wooden shoe, perhaps derivative of pate paw
Related forms
pattened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pattens
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Besides these two incumbrances, the stout lady contrived to carry in her hands an umbrella, a basket, and a pair of pattens.

    Lucretia, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • pattens is desperate, and he is the sort of man who will have no mercy.

    A Plucky Girl L. T. Meade
  • There is the story of three young women slipping into their pattens and going to the well with their pitchers for water.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners J. Henry Harris
  • In wet weather he carried a large umbrella and walked on pattens.

    Curiosities of Impecuniosity H. G. Somerville
  • The chief noises were women's shrill cries, men's laughter, Susan's stays and pattens, Olly Dowden's "heu-heu-heu!"

    Return of the Native Thomas Hardy
  • Mother had been very cool about the pattens, owing to nobody knowing them that we knew.

    Bab: A Sub-Deb Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Eunice was standing at the tub in her pattens, rubbing away at the steaming soap-suds.

  • Nothing but houses and dusty lilacs, my coachman dozing on his box, and two women in pattens crossing the kennel.

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for pattens


a wooden clog or sandal on a raised wooden platform or metal ring
Word Origin
C14: from Old French patin, probably from patte paw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pattens



late 14c., from Old French patin "clog, type of shoe" (13c.), probably from pate "paw, foot," from Gallo-Romance *pauta, ultimately perhaps imitative of the sound made by a paw. The immediate source has been sought in Celtic [Barnhart] and Germanic [OED], but evidence is wanting. Likely cognates include Provençal pauta, Catalan pote, Middle Dutch and Dutch poot, German Pfote "paw."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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