pat

noun
\ ˈpat \

Definition of pat 

(Entry 1 of 6)

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

2 : a light tapping often rhythmical sound

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

pat on the back

: an expression of approval

pat

adverb

Definition of pat (Entry 2 of 6)

: in a pat manner : aptly, perfectly has her part down pat

pat

verb
patted; patting

Definition of pat (Entry 3 of 6)

transitive verb

1 : to strike lightly with a flat instrument

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

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

intransitive verb

: to strike or beat gently

pat

adjective

Definition of pat (Entry 4 of 6)

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

b : suspiciously appropriate : contrived a pat ending

2 : learned, mastered, or memorized exactly

4 : reduced to a simple or mechanical form : standard, trite pat answers

pat

abbreviation (1)

Definition of pat (Entry 5 of 6)

patent

PAT

abbreviation (2)

Definition of PAT (Entry 6 of 6)

point after touchdown

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Examples of pat in a Sentence

Noun

She gave the dog a quick pat.

Adverb

after months of practicing for the competition, the cheerleaders have their moves down pat

Verb

The child gently patted the dog's head. He patted my knee and told me everything would be fine. He patted his hair down. She patted the dough into a square. He patted the lettuce dry with a paper towel.

Adjective

The movie's pat ending was a disappointment. His explanation was too pat to be believable.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Through the intertwined lives of the extended Zhen family and staff, Tan deftly explores evolving immigrant identity, layers of ex-pat privilege, tenacious gender disparity, family expectations and obligations. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, "'What We Were Promised' depicts post-Mao China in a deft debut novel set in Shanghai," 13 July 2018 For these Boston ex-pats, the authentic Nashville is the one to write home about. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "How a Boston couple does Nashville," 27 June 2018 Davis, who arrived with his wife, Darlene, was warmly greeted with hugs, handshakes and pats on the back by those gathered, many whom attended or still attend New Birth in Stonecrest, which is located just a few miles away. Shelia Poole, ajc, "Former New Birth pastor holds rousing Bible study in Decatur," 11 July 2018 Which countries are considered good options for American ex-pats who want good, affordable healthcare? Liz Weston, latimes.com, "The future is bleak for charitable deductions, early retirees' healthcare costs," 1 July 2018 Princess Charlotte already has her adorable royal wave down pat, but that doesn’t mean she’s above taking pointers from someone with more experience. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "See the Adorable Moment Princess Charlotte Copied the Queen's Wave (It Made Mom Kate So Proud!)," 13 June 2018 With a 13-second handshake and a pat on Kim’s arm, the two leaders set the stage for an unprecedented encounter between the sitting U.S. president and the ruler of the world’s most isolated regime. Laignee Barron, Time, "Body Language Experts Reveal What Trump and Kim's Behavior Says About the Singapore Summit," 12 June 2018 Day-Lewis went all in for this performance, having carefully studied Brown’s mannerisms and behavior in order to get every last facial tic down pat. Jennifer Vineyard, New York Times, "The Best TV Shows and Movies New to Netflix, Amazon and More in June," 1 June 2018 When Patricia left the dais, with reporters still asking questions, he was greeted by a pat on the back from Wood. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' Matt Patricia on sex assault case: 'The truth is on my side'," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Fox News, "Chef Mark Bailey's Last-Minute Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner!," 14 Feb. 2018 The use of police pat-downs declined as a result starting in late 2015, according to Cassell and Fowles. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Jeff Sessions’s claim that an ACLU settlement with Chicago caused murders to spike," 14 May 2018 The use of police pat-downs declined as a result starting in late 2015, according to Cassell and Fowles. Salvador Rizzo, chicagotribune.com, "Jeff Sessions' claim that an ACLU settlement with Chicago caused murders to spike," 14 May 2018 Once pork is room temperature, pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appetit, "Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Butternut Squash," 19 Mar. 2018 Going inside waistbands is not normal pat-down procedure, THP training commanders said, according to the News Sentinel. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Cop who allegedly groped, pursued female motorist to receive oral counseling: report," 8 Mar. 2018 Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spice savvy: These 7 trendy seasonings will add pizzazz to your cooking," 27 Feb. 2018 Scrub carrots, pat dry, and scatter along the outer edges of a large rimmed baking sheet. Alison Roman, Bon Appetit, "Fennel-Rubbed Leg of Lamb with Salsa Verde," 19 Sep. 2017 Rinse bodies and tentacles well; pat dry with paper towels. Bon Appetit, "Grilled Squid with Chile Dressing and Radishes," 19 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Let the shrimp cool completely (about 3 minutes), then drain and pat dry. Jonah Miller, WSJ, "Throw a Summer Party the Effortless Spanish Way," 6 July 2018 And perhaps something more: an honest acknowledgment that, in matters big and small, the industry is ready to stop patting itself off on the back and start making amends. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Capping an exhausting awards season, the Oscars offered relief but little satisfaction," 6 Mar. 2018 Season ribs on both sides with all of dry rub, patting it on if needed. Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appetit, "Instant Pot Glazed and Grilled Ribs," 25 June 2018 Add a few drops to a serum or moisturizer, or pat it directly on your skin every day. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Everything at Paula’s Choice Is on Sale Right Now," 13 June 2018 Without a thought, Kate swooped in to check on her daughter, offering some reassuring words and patting her back. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Princess Charlotte Had a Mini Meltdown at Trooping the Colour 2018," 9 June 2018 Howard compared it to shaking someone's hand or patting them on the back. Langston Wertz Jr., charlotteobserver, "TV sportscaster Chuck Howard was fired at Fox 46. Here's why he said it happened.," 2 June 2018 Two men got out of the car, a witness later told police, and the two men patted Scott down, apparently looking for the drugs. David Owens, courant.com, "Hartford Jury Takes About 90 Minutes To Convict Man In 2015 Drug Deal Killing," 22 May 2018 Meas, who is also Mom’s former campaign manager, claims that the lawmaker grabbed him by the throat and dug his fist into his rib cage after Meas patted him on the shoulder to greet him at the Pailin City Restaurant. Matt Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "Lowell lawmaker accused of attacking rival," 16 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

On floured surface, pat dough into 12-inch-by-3-inch loaf. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Raspberry Oat Scones," 19 May 2017 The slowdown in the first three months of the year was one of two reasons why the Bank stayed pat. Pan Pylas, BostonGlobe.com, "After cold hits economy, UK central bank keeps rates steady," 10 May 2018 Fairey's script is far too pat and ingratiating to matter much. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "The members of Support Group for Men don’t get eviscerated, but what does happen isn’t much more edifying," 2 July 2018 And even the glimpse of redemption on the final page is a denial of pat narratives. Mark Athitakis, latimes.com, "A sensational ill wind blows through Lauren Groff's short story collection, 'Florida'," 8 June 2018 Just a swipe and a finger pat works with this product. The Cut, "Testing Glossier’s New Cloud Paint Shades for Darker Skin," 19 June 2018 Ultimately the Capitals stayed pat and went platinum by adding backup performers such as winger Devante Smith-Pelly (goals in Games 3, 4 and 5 against Vegas) and second-pair defenseman Michal Kempny (17:42 playoff time on ice). Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "The Great Wait Is Finally Over: After 13 Seasons, Alex Ovechkin Is a Stanley Cup Champion," 11 June 2018 Wolf had prepared a set of pat answers to give to his new acquaintance at the first meeting, but Drew threw him right away. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Two Years After Pulse Nightclub Shooting Killed 49, Friends Embrace a Victim's Legacy of Love," 12 June 2018 Her dad also moved, but south to Rosarito Beach, a relaxed ex-pat city in Baja California. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Meghan Markle's Relationship With Her Dad, Thomas Markle?," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pat

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1578, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1533, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pat

Noun

Middle English patte, probably of imitative origin

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Learn More about pat

Dictionary Entries near pat

pasty-faced

pasul

PA system

pat

PAT

pataca

pat-a-cake

Phrases Related to pat

a pat on the back

Statistics for pat

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pat

The first known use of pat was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pat

pat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pat

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: an act of lightly touching someone or something with your hand to show affection or approval

: a small, flat, usually square piece of something (such as butter)

pat

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of pat (Entry 2 of 4)

: learned completely or perfectly

pat

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pat (Entry 3 of 4)

: to lightly touch (someone or something) with your hand usually several times in order to show affection or approval or to provide comfort

: to flatten, smooth, or shape (something) by lightly pressing on it with your hand

: to lightly press (something) several times until it is dry

pat

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pat (Entry 4 of 4)

: said or done without any real thought or effort to be truthful or original

pat

verb
\ ˈpat \
patted; patting

Kids Definition of pat

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: to tap or stroke gently with the open hand He stopped to pat the dog.

pat

noun

Kids Definition of pat (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a light tap with the open hand or a flat instrument She gave me a pat on the head.

2 : the sound of a pat or tap

3 : a small flat piece (as of butter)

pat

adjective
patter; pattest

Kids Definition of pat (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : learned perfectly I had my lines in the play down pat.

2 : exactly suitable a pat answer

3 : not changing He stood pat against all arguments.

Kids Definition of pat.

patent

Medical Definition of PAT 

paroxysmal atrial tachycardia

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Comments on pat

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