pat

noun
\ ˈpat How to pronounce pat (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From the inconsistent penalties - despite officials admitting to the error - to the pat on the back, none of this is a good look for NASCAR, and the sport's fans vented their frustration, confusion and disappointment. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, "Fans think NASCAR's inconsistency gave Kevin advantage," 10 Apr. 2018 Firstly by the commentator, who provided the above quote, and then by a begrudging Brazilian, who acknowledged one save with a complimentary pat on the head, Eusebio style. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 14 Weeks to Go - Brazil's Astounding Performance in the 1962 Final," 16 Mar. 2018 Many Iranian ex-pats see the company’s interpretation of sanctions as overly broad, going far beyond the actual restrictions put in place by the US government. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Slack is banning some users with links to Iran even if they’ve left the country," 20 Dec. 2018 After searing, sautéing, and a quick flambé followed by a few pats of butter, some lemon juice and parsley, Basil’s monkfish Marsala comes into beautification. Rachel Ellner, BostonGlobe.com, "Marsala brings out the beauty in monkfish," 14 May 2018 Chrissy Teigen has the whole mom beauty thing down pat. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Chrissy Teigen Brings Back the Voluminous Blowout in Beverly Hills," 1 Feb. 2019 The bigger picture is more complicated This story isn’t as simple as buying a pair of Girlfriend Collective leggings and giving yourself a pat on the back. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Why brands are making new clothes out of old plastic," 24 Oct. 2018 After five kids and 15 years of running several businesses together, Chip and Joanna Gaines have the working parent lifestyle down pat. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Here's How Chip and Joanna Gaines Split Baby Duties for 4-Month-Old Crew," 17 Nov. 2018 From a sweet hand hold to a pat on the back, Harry and Meghan aren't afraid to display their love. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Had a Cute PDA Moment at the Coach Core Awards," 24 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

When the grill is nice and hot, pat dry the scallops with a paper towel. Multiple Authors, House Beautiful, "The Sea Grill's Grilled Day Boat Sea Scallops," 1 May 2010 Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water to cool; pat dry. Bon Appetit, "Miso-Tahini Noodles with Asparagus and Tofu," 14 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Alebrije’s cooks pat out a fresh corn tortilla as big as a hardcover novel and place upon it a bed of Spanish rice. Gustavo Arellano, Bon Appetit, "Alebrije’s Is My Taco Truck and Also My Office," 6 June 2018 Sprinkle the bread-crumb topping evenly over each fillet and pat gently to adhere. Pour the wine around the fish. Chris Ross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Giada De Laurentiis' Lemon Sole Oreganata," 23 Apr. 2018 The green makeup is best for patting over redness, the yellow makeup counteracts the darkness of under eye circles, and so on and so forth. SELF, "The 6 Best Color Correctors, According to Makeup Artists," 5 Dec. 2018 Bond Portfolio Until very recently, Fed officials had patted themselves on the back over their ability to wind down their portfolio of bonds and other assets without sparking major market volatility. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed Meeting Minutes Will Show How Officials Judged Economic Risks," 9 Jan. 2019 Then pat and shape the area and use hair from the temples to secure the teases area in place. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Appears on the September "Vogue Brazil" Cover," 29 Aug. 2018 Manafort patted a couple of his lawyers on the shoulder and acknowledged his wife Kathleen, sitting in the front row, with a wink. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Paul Manafort convicted by jury on bank and tax fraud charges; mistrial declared on 10 counts," 21 Aug. 2018 Remove the sablefish from the marinade and pat dry. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Whether you call it sablefish or black cod, make this dish as soon as you possibly can," 7 June 2018 Instead, just pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "How to Perfectly Prepare and Roast a Turkey This Thanksgiving," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Gently pat one half into a 2-inch-thick disc, working quickly to seal any broken edges. Lisa Ludwinski, WSJ, "Pies That Bind: Thanksgiving Recipes From the Heartland," 15 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, pat steaks dry with a paper towel, then rub with paprika and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper; shake off any excess. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Smoked Paprika Steak and Lentils with Spinach," 19 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, pat sirloin steak dry and season with salt and pepper. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Asian Steak Noodle Bowl," 28 Nov. 2018 Lightly pat broccoli rabe dry and gently wring out as much water as possible. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "6 Fresh Takes on Pesto," 3 Aug. 2018 Despite its roots in real-world suffering, this adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel feels strangely uncomplicated, and uncomfortably pat. Brendan Kiley, The Seattle Times, "For all its horrors, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ at Seattle Rep feels uncomfortably comforting," 15 Oct. 2018 Drain well and pat dry. 2 Meanwhile, heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Jeanmarie Brownson, chicagotribune.com, "How to grill steak to perfection — it's all about controlling the heat," 5 June 2018 And better for a child to have healthy bonds versus pat demographics. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "Her family doesn’t support the idea of her being a single mom," 7 Nov. 2018 Old wounds are reopened and new understandings sought, but the movie avoids a pat conclusion. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "The Bounty of Netflix International," 29 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pat

Dictionary Entries near pat

pasty-faced

pasul

PA system

pat

PAT

pataca

pat-a-cake

Statistics for pat

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pat

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

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

pat

verb
\ ˈpat How to pronounce pat (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pat

Spanish Central: Translation of pat

Nglish: Translation of pat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pat for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pat

Comments on pat

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!