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[pit-er-pat-er] /ˈpɪt ərˈpæt ər/
the sound of a rapid succession of light beats or taps, as of rain, footsteps, etc.
verb (used without object)
to produce or move with this sound:
She pitter-pattered along the hallway.
with such a sound:
to run pitter-patter through the house.
Origin of pitter-patter
1400-50; late Middle English: a babbled prayer; perhaps imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pitter-patter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then came the pitter-patter of claws upon the smooth surface of the ice.

    A Sub and a Submarine Percy F. Westerman
  • She had not gone far when she heard the pitter-patter of feet.

    The White Queen of Okoyong W.P. Livingstone
  • The noise kept on, "pitter-patter; pitter-patter-patter-pitter; pat-pit-pat-pit."

    Uncle Wiggily's Adventures Howard R. Garis
  • Up and down the children ran, with a pitter-patter of clamouring feet on the leads.

    The Quiver, 1/1900 Anonymous
  • The others followed, pitter-patter down the stairs, and along the gravelled path.

    The Quiver, 1/1900 Anonymous
  • There was stillness; no battery, however distant, no pitter-patter of rifle fire, no chattering report of the machine guns.

    The Dark Forest Hugh Walpole
  • Jack a little later heard the cat-like steps of its mate leaving the place, until the pitter-patter died away in the distance.

  • At length there was a pitter-patter, pitter-patter, and some bits of mortar fell from the wall above.

British Dictionary definitions for pitter-patter


the sound of light rapid taps or pats, as of raindrops
(intransitive) to make such a sound
with such a sound: the rain fell pitter-patter on the window
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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