Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

patter

play
verb pat·ter \ˈpa-tər\

Definition of patter

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to say or speak in a rapid or mechanical manner

  3. intransitive verb
  4. 1 :  to recite prayers (as paternosters) rapidly or mechanically

  5. 2 :  to talk glibly and volubly

  6. 3 :  to speak or sing rapid-fire words in a theatrical performance

patterer

play \-tər-ər\ noun


Origin and Etymology of patter

Middle English patren, from paternoster


First Known Use: 14th century


2

patter

noun pat·ter

Definition of patter

  1. 1 :  a specialized lingo :  cant; especially :  the jargon of criminals (as thieves)

  2. 2 :  the spiel of a street hawker or of a circus barker

  3. 3 :  empty chattering talk

  4. 4 a (1) :  the rapid-fire talk of a comedian (2) :  the talk with which an entertainer accompanies a routine b :  the words of a comic song or of a rapidly spoken usually humorous monologue introduced into such a song



1758

First Known Use of patter

1758


3

patter

verb pat·ter

Definition of patter

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to strike or pat rapidly and repeatedly

  3. 2 :  to run with quick light-sounding steps

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to cause to patter



Origin and Etymology of patter

frequentative of 3pat


First Known Use: 1611


4

patter

noun pat·ter

Definition of patter

  1. :  a quick succession of light sounds or pats



1844

First Known Use of patter

1844


PATTER Defined for Kids

1

patter

play
verb pat·ter \ˈpa-tər\

Definition of patter for Students

pattered

pattering

  1. 1 :  to strike again and again with light blows <We could hear rain pattering on the roof.>

  2. 2 :  to run with quick light steps




2

patter

play
noun pat·ter

Definition of patter for Students

  1. :  a series of quick light sounds <We heard the patter of little feet.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up patter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine lazy melancholy frenetic
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ