the crown or top of the head.
the head.
the brain.

Origin of pate

1275–1325; Middle English, < ?
Can be confusedpaddy pate pâte pâté




porcelain paste used in ceramic work.

Origin of pâte

From French, dating back to 1860–65; see origin at paste
Can be confusedpaddy pate pâte pâté


[pah-tey, pa‐; French pah-tey, pa‐]

noun, plural pâ·tés [pah-teyz, pa‐; French pah-tey] /pɑˈteɪz, pæ‐; French pɑˈteɪ/,

French Cookery. a paste or spread made of puréed or finely chopped liver, meat, fish, game, etc., served as an hors d'oeuvre.

Origin of pâté

From French, dating back to 1695–1705; see origin at paste, -ee
Can be confusedpaddy pate pâte pâté Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for pate

brain, noggin, crown, dome

Examples from the Web for pate

Contemporary Examples of pate

  • It is littered with pate rind, bread crumbs, greaseproof paper, orange peel and banana skins.

  • Whether it is a simple roasted chicken, pate, or tuna Napoleon, each plate is a true culinary pleasure and delivers every time.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fresh Picks

    Robert Irvine

    January 13, 2011

Historical Examples of pate

  • As my horse crashed into him I struck at his pate with my pistol.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will peat his pate four days.

    King Henry the Fifth

    William Shakespeare

  • Ay, leeks is goot:—Hold you, there is a groat to heal your pate.

    King Henry the Fifth

    William Shakespeare

  • He applies the cudgel as vigorously to the priest's pate as to the Lolardes back.

  • Once he's got anything wedged in his pate there's no knocking it out.

British Dictionary definitions for pate



the head, esp with reference to baldness or (in facetious use) intelligence

Word Origin for pate

C14: of unknown origin



a spread of very finely minced liver, poultry, etc, served usually as an hors d'oeuvre
a savoury pie of meat or fish

Word Origin for pâté

from French: paste 1
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

Word Origin and History for pate

"top of the head," early 14c. (late 12c. in surnames), of unknown origin; perhaps a shortened form of Old French patene or Medieval Latin patena, both from Latin patina "pan, dish" (see pan (n.)).


"paste," 1706, from French pâté, from Old French paste, earlier pastée, from paste (see paste (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper