1. any of various kinds of footwear, as a wooden shoe, a shoe with a wooden sole, a chopine, etc., to protect the feet from mud or wetness.
  2. a separate sole attached to a shoe or boot for this purpose.
  3. Building Trades. any stand or support, especially one of a number resting on unbroken ground as a substitute for a foundation.

Origin of patten

1350–1400; Middle English paten < Middle French patin wooden shoe, perhaps derivative of pate paw
Related formspat·tened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pattens

Contemporary Examples of pattens

  • The Pattens did not need the Declaration of Independence to tell them about the American Cause.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Secret Founding Fathers

    T.H. Breen

    July 3, 2010

  • Colonists like the Pattens did not fight against imperial rule because they resented paying taxes.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Secret Founding Fathers

    T.H. Breen

    July 3, 2010

Historical Examples of pattens

  • She heard the clatter of pattens in the room below; it was Nancy churning in the dairy.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Pattens is desperate, and he is the sort of man who will have no mercy.

    A Plucky Girl

    L. T. Meade

  • Tokio also wears boots, but Kyoto is noisy with pattens night and day.

  • All the Pattens went in, and a new girl with them, in a one piece suit.

    Bab: A Sub-Deb

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • In wet weather he carried a large umbrella and walked on pattens.

British Dictionary definitions for pattens


  1. a wooden clog or sandal on a raised wooden platform or metal ring

Word Origin for patten

C14: from Old French patin, probably from patte paw
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 pattens



late 14c., from Old French patin "clog, type of shoe" (13c.), probably from pate "paw, foot," from Gallo-Romance *pauta, ultimately perhaps imitative of the sound made by a paw. The immediate source has been sought in Celtic [Barnhart] and Germanic [OED], but evidence is wanting. Likely cognates include Provençal pauta, Catalan pote, Middle Dutch and Dutch poot, German Pfote "paw."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper