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patter1

[pat-er] /ˈpæt ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to make a rapid succession of light taps:
Raindrops patter on the windowpane.
2.
to move or walk lightly or quickly:
The child pattered across the room.
verb (used with object)
3.
to cause to patter.
4.
to spatter with something.
noun
5.
a rapid succession of light tapping sounds:
the steady patter of rain on the tin roof.
6.
the act of pattering.
Origin of patter1
1605-1615
1605-15; pat1 + -er6
Synonyms
1. pat, beat, rap pelt.

patter2

[pat-er] /ˈpæt ər/
noun
1.
meaningless, rapid talk; mere chatter; gabble.
2.
the usually glib and rapid speech or talk used by a magician while performing, a barker at a circus or sideshow, a comedian or other entertainer, a vendor of questionable wares, or the like; stylized or rehearsed talk used to attract attention, entertain, etc.
3.
amusing lines delivered rapidly by an entertainer or performer, as in a comic routine or in a song.
4.
the jargon or cant of any class, group, etc.
verb (used without object)
5.
to talk glibly or rapidly, especially with little regard to meaning; chatter.
6.
to repeat a paternoster or other prayer in a rapid, mechanical way.
verb (used with object)
7.
to recite or repeat (prayers, verses, etc.) in a rapid, mechanical way.
8.
to repeat or say rapidly or glibly.
Origin
1375-1425; Middle English pateren to say the paternoster, pray mechanically; see pater
Related forms
patterer, paterist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pattering
Historical Examples
  • I soon fell asleep, but at about 224 midnight I awoke, roused by the pattering of rain on the roof.

    Wanderings in Patagonia Julius Beerbohm
  • I could hear the pattering of their feet upon the planks as they scampered away.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • The waiters, pattering over the stone floor in their bare feet, made more noise than our entire mess.

    Captain Macklin Richard Harding Davis
  • The rain is dripping from the trees without and pattering on the stone flags.

    Starlight Ranch Charles King
  • Poor Mangrove at this time was pattering close to my heels, and I could hear him chuckling and laughing to himself.

    Tom Cringle's Log Michael Scott
  • The dancing and the scurry of pattering feet had both ceased.

  • It proved to be the roaring of the wind, the pattering of the rain, and the angry dash of the waves.

    Jack in the Forecastle John Sherburne Sleeper
  • These rain-drops are like the pattering feet of the invisible host.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • Down upon him, with a pattering of feet on the gravel, flowed a river of white shimmering silk.

  • I close my eyes now and fancy I hear it pattering on the leaves.

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
British Dictionary definitions for pattering

patter1

/ˈpætə/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to walk or move with quick soft steps
2.
to strike with or make a quick succession of light tapping sounds
3.
(transitive) (rare) to cause to patter
noun
4.
a quick succession of light tapping sounds, as of feet: the patter of mice
Word Origin
C17: from pat1

patter2

/ˈpætə/
noun
1.
the glib rapid speech of comedians, salesmen, etc
2.
quick idle talk; chatter
3.
the jargon of a particular group; lingo
verb
4.
(intransitive) to speak glibly and rapidly
5.
to repeat (prayers) in a mechanical or perfunctory manner
Word Origin
C14: from Latin pater in Pater Noster Our Father
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 pattering

patter

v.

"make quick taps," 1610s, frequentative of pat (v.). Related: Pattered; pattering. As a noun in this sense from 1844.

"talk rapidly," c.1400, from pater "mumble prayers rapidly" (c.1300), shortened form of paternoster. Perhaps influenced by patter (v.1). The related noun is first recorded 1758, originally "cant language of thieves and beggars." Cf. Devil's paternoster (1520s) "a grumbling and mumbling to oneself."

PATTERING. The maundering or pert replies of servants; also talk or palaver in order to amuse one intended to be cheated. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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