- to strike lightly or gently with something flat, as with a paddle or the palm of the hand, usually in order to flatten, smooth, or shape: to pat dough into flat pastry forms.
- to stroke or tap gently with the palm or fingers as an expression of affection, approbation, etc.
- to strike (the floor, ground, etc.) with light footsteps.
- to strike lightly or gently.
- to walk or run with light footsteps.
- a light stroke, tap, or blow with the palm, fingers, or a flat object.
- the sound of a light stroke or of light footsteps.
- a small piece or mass, usually flat and square, formed by patting, cutting, etc.: a pat of butter.
- a pat on the back, a word of praise, congratulations, or encouragement: Everyone needs a pat on the back now and then.
- pat down, to pat or pass the hands over the body of (a clothed person) to detect concealed weapons, drugs, etc.
- pat on the back, to praise, congratulate, or encourage: The boss patted him on the back for the deal he made yesterday.
Origin of pat1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pat on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for patted
So I just patted him kind-like on the shoulder and sat down.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
Jimbo sat behind me, and patted me on the back with his heavy tomahawk of a paw.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
And he said hi back and smiled and sort of patted the baby on the head and everything.The Stacks: Grateful Dead I Have Known
August 30, 2014
And the media, in turn, patted the company on the back for their “groundbreaking” progressivism.Fear of a Minority Superhero: Marvel's Obsession with White Guys Saving the World
August 7, 2014
I didn't say anything, I just patted her on the shoulder and walked out.Talking to Women of the Wall's Ultra-Orthodox Teenage Protesters
November 6, 2013
When she reached the car she patted it as if it had been a living creature.Her Father's Daughter
He put his hand paternally upon my knee, and patted it softly.In the Valley
And Mr. Beaufort patted the sleek neck of his favourite hunter.Night and Morning, Complete
Roland tucked the girl's hand beneath his arm and patted it down.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Miss Georgie laughed ruefully, and patted her pompadour absent-mindedly.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
- to hit (something) lightly with the palm of the hand or some other flat surfaceto pat a ball
- to slap (a person or animal) gently, esp on the back, as an expression of affection, congratulation, etc
- (tr) to shape, smooth, etc, with a flat instrument or the palm
- (intr) to walk or run with light footsteps
- pat someone on the back informal to congratulate or encourage someone
- a light blow with something flat
- a gentle slap
- a small mass of somethinga pat of butter
- the sound made by a light stroke or light footsteps
- pat on the back informal a gesture or word indicating approval or encouragement
- Also: off pat exactly or fluently memorized or masteredhe recited it pat
- opportunely or aptly
- stand pat
- mainly US and Canadianto refuse to abandon a belief, decision, etc
- (in poker, etc) to play without adding new cards to the hand dealt
- exactly right for the occasion; apta pat reply
- too exactly fitting; gliba pat answer to a difficult problem
- exactly righta pat hand in poker
- on one's pat Australian informal alone; on one's own
- an informal name for an Irishman
Word Origin and History for patted
c.1400, "a blow, stroke," perhaps originally imitative of the sound of patting. Meaning "light tap with hand" is from c.1804. Sense of "that which is formed by patting" (as in pat of butter) is 1754, probably from the verb. Pat on the back in the figurative sense attested by 1804.
"aptly, suitably, at the right time," 1570s, perhaps from pat (adj.) in sense of "that which hits the mark," a special use from pat (n.) in sense of "a hitting" of the mark. The modern adjective is 1630s, from the adverb.
1560s, "to hit, throw;" meaning "to tap or strike lightly" is from 1714; from pat (n.). Related: Patted; patting. The nursery rhyme phrase pat-a-cake is known from 1823. Alternative patty-cake (usually American English) is attested from 1794 (in "Mother Goose's Melody, or Sonnets for the Cradle," Worcester, Mass.).
Idioms and Phrases with patted
In addition to the idiom beginning with pat
- pat on the back
- stand pat