a pat on the back

Definition of a pat on the back


  1. :  a show of praise or approval You all deserve a pat on the back for making this possible. You did a great job, so give yourself a pat on the back.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  a light blow especially with the hand or a flat instrument

    :  a light tapping often rhythmical sound

    :  something (such as butter) shaped into a small flat usually square individual portion

  1. :  in a pat manner :  aptly, perfectly

  1. :  to strike lightly with a flat instrument

    :  to flatten, smooth, or put into place or shape with light blows

    :  to tap or stroke gently with the hand to soothe, caress, or show approval

  1. :  exactly suited to the purpose or occasion :  apt

    :  suspiciously appropriate :  contrived

    :  learned, mastered, or memorized exactly

  1. : patent

  1. :  the rear part of the human body especially from the neck to the end of the spine

    :  the body considered as the wearer of clothes

    :  capacity for labor, effort, or endurance

  1. :  to, toward, or at the rear

    :  in or into the past :  backward in time

    :  ago

  1. :  being at or in the back

    :  distant from a central or main area

    :  articulated at or toward the back of the oral passage :  formed deep within the mouth

  1. :  to support by material or moral assistance

    :  substantiate

    :  to assume financial responsibility for

Seen and Heard

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


a trip made at another's expense

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