a children's game in which a child claps hands alone and with another child while chanting a nursery rhyme.

Nearby words

  1. pastureland,
  2. pasty,
  3. pasty-faced,
  4. pat,
  5. pat on the back,
  6. pat-down,
  7. pat.,
  8. pat. off.,
  9. pat. pend.,
  10. pataca

Origin of pat-a-cake

First recorded in 1870–75; after the opening words of a rhyme that accompanies such play Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pat-a-cake

  • Barby stooped to take the little terrier's head between her hands and pat-a-cake it back and forth with an affectionate caress.

    Georgina of the Rainbows|Annie Fellows Johnston
  • Even baby has its "pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake," and is lulled to sleep with visions of a coach and six little ponies.