- to make a rapid succession of light taps: Raindrops patter on the windowpane.
- to move or walk lightly or quickly: The child pattered across the room.
- to cause to patter.
- to spatter with something.
- a rapid succession of light tapping sounds: the steady patter of rain on the tin roof.
- the act of pattering.
Origin of patter1
- meaningless, rapid talk; mere chatter; gabble.
- the usually glib and rapid speech or talk used by a magician while performing, a barker at a circus or sideshow, a comedian or other entertainer, a vendor of questionable wares, or the like; stylized or rehearsed talk used to attract attention, entertain, etc.
- amusing lines delivered rapidly by an entertainer or performer, as in a comic routine or in a song.
- the jargon or cant of any class, group, etc.
- to talk glibly or rapidly, especially with little regard to meaning; chatter.
- to repeat a paternoster or other prayer in a rapid, mechanical way.
- to recite or repeat (prayers, verses, etc.) in a rapid, mechanical way.
- to repeat or say rapidly or glibly.
Origin of patter2
Examples from the Web for pattering
These rain-drops are like the pattering feet of the invisible host.The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
There was a delighted squeal and the sound of pattering feet.The Right Stuff
I close my eyes now and fancy I hear it pattering on the leaves.Mary Gray
Some animal kept rustling and pattering, but I let it rustle and patter.Pluck on the Long Trail
Edwin L. Sabin
I could hear the pattering of their feet upon the planks as they scampered away.The Quadroon
- (intr) to walk or move with quick soft steps
- to strike with or make a quick succession of light tapping sounds
- (tr) rare to cause to patter
- a quick succession of light tapping sounds, as of feetthe patter of mice
- the glib rapid speech of comedians, salesmen, etc
- quick idle talk; chatter
- the jargon of a particular group; lingo
- (intr) to speak glibly and rapidly
- to repeat (prayers) in a mechanical or perfunctory manner
Word Origin and History for pattering
"make quick taps," 1610s, frequentative of pat (v.). Related: Pattered; pattering. As a noun in this sense from 1844.
"talk rapidly," c.1400, from pater "mumble prayers rapidly" (c.1300), shortened form of paternoster. Perhaps influenced by patter (v.1). The related noun is first recorded 1758, originally "cant language of thieves and beggars." Cf. Devil's paternoster (1520s) "a grumbling and mumbling to oneself."
PATTERING. The maundering or pert replies of servants; also talk or palaver in order to amuse one intended to be cheated. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]