[ pat-ern; British pat-n ]
See synonyms for: patternpatternedpatterningpatterns on

  1. a decorative design, as for wallpaper, china, or textile fabrics, etc.

  2. decoration or ornament having such a design.

  1. a natural or chance marking, configuration, or design: patterns of frost on the window.

  2. a distinctive style, model, or form: a new pattern of army helmet.

  3. a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies, etc., forming a consistent or characteristic arrangement: the behavior patterns of teenagers.

  4. an original or model considered for or deserving of imitation: Our constitution has been a pattern for those of many new republics.

  5. anything fashioned or designed to serve as a model or guide for something to be made: a paper pattern for a dress.

  6. a sufficient quantity of material for making a garment.

  7. the path of flight established for an aircraft approaching an airport at which it is to land.

  8. a diagram of lines transmitted occasionally by a television station to aid in adjusting receiving sets; test pattern.

  9. Metallurgy. a model or form, usually of wood or metal, used for giving the shape of the interior of a mold.

  10. Numismatics. a coin, either the redesign of an existing piece or the model for a new one, submitted for authorization as a regular issue.

  11. an example, instance, sample, or specimen.

  12. Gunnery, Aerial Bombing.

    • the distribution of strikes around a target at which artillery rounds have been fired or on which bombs have been dropped.

    • a diagram showing such distribution.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make or fashion after or according to a pattern.

  2. to cover or mark with a pattern.

  1. Chiefly British Dialect.

    • to imitate.

    • to attempt to match or duplicate.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make or fall into a pattern.

Origin of pattern

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English patron, from Medieval Latin patrōnus “model,” special use of Latin patrōnus “legal protector, advocate”; see patron

Other words for pattern

Other words from pattern

  • pat·tern·a·ble, adjective
  • patterned, adjective
  • pat·tern·er, noun
  • pat·tern·less, adjective
  • pat·tern·like, adjective
  • pat·tern·y, adjective
  • non·pat·terned, adjective
  • re·pat·tern, verb (used with object)
  • sem·i·pat·terned, adjective
  • sub·pat·tern, noun
  • un·pat·terned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pattern in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pattern (1 of 2)


/ (ˈpætən) /

  1. an arrangement of repeated or corresponding parts, decorative motifs, etc: although the notes seemed random, a careful listener could detect a pattern

  2. a decorative design: a paisley pattern

  1. a style: various patterns of cutlery

  2. a plan or diagram used as a guide in making something: a paper pattern for a dress

  3. a standard way of moving, acting, etc: traffic patterns

  4. a model worthy of imitation: a pattern of kindness

  5. a representative sample

  6. a wooden or metal shape or model used in a foundry to make a mould

    • the arrangement of marks made in a target by bullets

    • a diagram displaying such an arrangement

  1. (often foll by after or on) to model

  2. to arrange as or decorate with a pattern

Origin of pattern

C14 patron, from Medieval Latin patrōnus example, from Latin: patron 1

British Dictionary definitions for pattern (2 of 2)



/ (ˈpætərn) /

  1. Irish an outdoor assembly with religious practices, traders' stalls, etc on the feast day of a patron saint

Origin of pattern

C18: variant of patron 1; see pattern 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