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noun pat·tern \ˈpa-tərn\

Simple Definition of pattern

  • : a repeated form or design especially that is used to decorate something

  • : the regular and repeated way in which something happens or is done

  • : something that happens in a regular and repeated way

Full Definition of pattern

  1. 1 :  a form or model proposed for imitation :  exemplar

  2. 2 :  something designed or used as a model for making things <a dressmaker's pattern>

  3. 3 :  an artistic, musical, literary, or mechanical design or form

  4. 4 :  a natural or chance configuration <frost patterns> <the pattern of events>

  5. 5 :  a length of fabric sufficient for an article (as of clothing)

  6. 6 a :  the distribution of shrapnel, bombs on a target, or shot from a shotgun b :  the grouping made on a target by bullets

  7. 7 :  a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a person, group, or institution <a behavior pattern> <spending patterns>

  8. 8 a :  the flight path prescribed for an airplane that is coming in for a landing b :  a prescribed route to be followed by a pass receiver in football

  9. 9 :  test pattern

  10. 10 :  a discernible coherent system based on the intended interrelationship of component parts <foreign policy patterns>

  11. 11 :  frequent or widespread incidence <a pattern of dissent> <a pattern of violence>

pat·terned play \-tərnd\ adjective
pat·tern·less adjective

Examples of pattern

  1. The dishes have a floral pattern around the rim.

  2. The fabric comes in different colors and patterns.

  3. The rug is decorated with a geometric pattern.

  4. The shadows made a pattern of lines on the ground.

  5. They are studying behavior patterns among high-school students.

  6. Analysts are noticing different spending patterns by consumers.

  7. The trees followed a characteristic pattern of growth.

Origin of pattern

Middle English patron, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin patronus

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of pattern

model, example, pattern, exemplar, ideal mean someone or something set before one for guidance or imitation. model applies to something taken or proposed as worthy of imitation <a decor that is a model of good taste>. example applies to a person to be imitated or in some contexts on no account to be imitated but to be regarded as a warning <children tend to follow the example of their parents>. pattern suggests a clear and detailed archetype or prototype <American industry set a pattern for others to follow>. exemplar suggests either a faultless example to be emulated or a perfect typification <cited Joan of Arc as the exemplar of courage>. ideal implies the best possible exemplification either in reality or in conception <never found a job that matched his ideal>.

Other Handicraft Terms

Rhymes with pattern



verb pat·tern

Simple Definition of pattern

  • : to make or design (something) so that it is similar to something else of the same type

  • : to decorate or mark (something) with a design : to form a pattern on (something)

Full Definition of pattern

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 dial chiefly English a :  match b :  imitate

  3. 2 :  to make, adapt, or fashion according to a pattern

  4. 3 :  to furnish, adorn, or mark with a design

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to form a pattern

Examples of pattern

  1. Animals tracks patterned the mud.

Circa 1586

First Known Use of pattern

circa 1586

PATTERN Defined for Kids



noun pat·tern \ˈpa-tərn\

Definition of pattern

  1. 1 :  the form or figures used in decoration :  design <The cloth has a fancy pattern.>

  2. 2 :  a model or guide for making something <Mom used a pattern to make the dress.>

  3. 3 :  the regular and repeated way in which something is done <Their behavior has fallen into a pattern.>

  4. 4 :  something worth copying :  model

pat·terned \-tərnd\ adjective

History for pattern

In medieval English a person who served as a model to be copied was called a patron. Some people began to say patron in such a way that the sound of the r changed its place. Patron soon became pattern. After a time pattern, the new way of saying the word, was used just for the meaning “a model to be copied.” The older patron lost that meaning, though it kept its other senses. In this way we got a new word, pattern, from an older word, patron.



verb pat·tern

Definition of pattern


  1. 1 :  to make or develop by following an example <The building was patterned on a Greek temple.>

  2. 2 :  to have a design <He wore a tie patterned with flags.>

Medical Dictionary


noun pat·tern \ˈpat-ərn\

Medical Definition of pattern

  1. 1:  a model for making a mold used to form a casting

  2. 2:  a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a person, group, or institution <patterns of behavior>

  3. 3:  an established mode of behavior or cluster of mental attitudes, beliefs, and values that are held in common by members of a group

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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