pat

1
[ pat ]
/ pæt /

verb (used with object), pat·ted, pat·ting.

verb (used without object), pat·ted, pat·ting.

to strike lightly or gently.
to walk or run with light footsteps.

noun

Idioms

Origin of pat

1
1375–1425; late Middle English pat blow, stroke, apparently of expressive orig.

Related forms

un·pat·ted, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pat on the back (1 of 4)

pat

1
/ (pæt) /

verb pats, patting or patted

noun

Word Origin for pat

C14: perhaps imitative

British Dictionary definitions for pat on the back (2 of 4)

pat

2
/ (pæt) /

adverb

Also: off pat exactly or fluently memorized or masteredhe recited it pat
opportunely or aptly
stand pat
  1. mainly US and Canadian to refuse to abandon a belief, decision, etc
  2. (in poker, etc) to play without adding new cards to the hand dealt

adjective

exactly right for the occasion; apta pat reply
too exactly fitting; gliba pat answer to a difficult problem
exactly righta pat hand in poker

Word Origin for pat

C17: perhaps adverbial use (``with a light stroke'') of pat 1

British Dictionary definitions for pat on the back (3 of 4)

pat

3
/ (pæt) /

noun

on one's pat Australian informal alone; on one's own

Word Origin for pat

C20: rhyming slang, from Pat Malone

British Dictionary definitions for pat on the back (4 of 4)

Pat

/ (pæt) /

noun

an informal name for an Irishman

Word Origin for Pat

from Patrick
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

Idioms and Phrases with pat on the back (1 of 2)

pat on the back


A word or gesture of support, approval, or praise, as in The bonus she gave her assistant was a pat on the back for doing a good job. [Early 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with pat on the back (2 of 2)

pat


In addition to the idiom beginning with pat

  • pat on the back

also see:

  • stand pat
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.