the sound of a rapid succession of light beats or taps, as of rain, footsteps, etc.

verb (used without object)

to produce or move with this sound: She pitter-pattered along the hallway.


with such a sound: to run pitter-patter through the house.

Origin of pitter-patter

1400–50; late Middle English: a babbled prayer; perhaps imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pitter-patter

Contemporary Examples of pitter-patter

Historical Examples of pitter-patter

  • Then came the pitter-patter of claws upon the smooth surface of the ice.

    A Sub and a Submarine

    Percy F. Westerman

  • She had not gone far when she heard the pitter-patter of feet.

  • The noise kept on, "pitter-patter; pitter-patter-patter-pitter; pat-pit-pat-pit."

  • Up and down the children ran, with a pitter-patter of clamouring feet on the leads.

  • The others followed, pitter-patter down the stairs, and along the gravelled path.

British Dictionary definitions for pitter-patter



the sound of light rapid taps or pats, as of raindrops


(intr) to make such a sound


with such a soundthe rain fell pitter-patter on the window
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