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

Manney was fired from the force for not following protocol for conducting a pat-down search and for not properly dealing with a person who may be mentally disturbed. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Implementation of mental health training plan for officers runs counter to recommendations," 8 June 2018 Big pats and praise are in order, and maybe a small treat. Houston Chronicle, "Not the place to go!," 25 May 2018 Norwegian electronic duo Stargate have their hitmaking formula down pat, having crafted hits for some of music's biggest stars over the years. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "PartyNextDoor, 21 Savage & Murda Beatz Join Stargate on '1Night': Listen," 25 Apr. 2018 The girls, one of whom sat on her mother’s lap, squirmed and played a pat-a-cake-like game during the hearing. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "El Chapo’s Lawyers Cite Traffic in Bid to Move Trial," 26 June 2018 The video shows her laughing and, at one point, getting a pat on her bottom from the man. Carol Robinson, AL.com, "Jeff West's lawyer: Was Kat West's 'double life' connected to her death?," 26 Feb. 2018 Those of you who were convinced there'd be some brain unit/body swapping this season can give yourselves a pat on the back. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "What the Hell Just Happened on Westworld's Insane Season Finale?," 25 June 2018 Some of that communication is non-verbal — a handshakes, a pat on the back, hugs and always smiles and laughter. Bill Van Smith, miamiherald, "This South Florida track event continues honoring legacy of its legendary founder," 7 June 2018 Give yourself a pat on the back, pour yourself a cocktail, and let someone else do the dishes. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appetit, "A $50 (Kinda) Brunch You Can Make Even When You’re Extremely Hungover," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Once the pork is brined, place it on a rack and pat dry with paper towels. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Farm-to-table isn't just a trend at Harvest restaurant. It's the chef's lifestyle," 24 Apr. 2018 As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exuded mutual warmth during a Tuesday summit, with beaming smiles and breezy back-patting, months of distant bickering dissolved in close-up bonhomie. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Nuclear Niceties: Trump and Kim Share Smiles, for a Change," 12 June 2018 The throwaway domestic bits are the best: Jack-Jack double-patting his father awake, when Bob conks out during the bedtime storybook, for example. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Incredibles 2' review: Piling on the action in a 14-years-later sequel," 11 June 2018 Everyone’s hugging him and patting him on his shoulder. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Soldier Stuck in Airport Watches Wife Give Birth to Daughter Over FaceTime: 'We Were All Cheering'," 10 May 2018 Some of the media's back-patting is also backhanded, to be sure. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "The executive time of his life: Trump collects media praise as Koreas talk peace," 27 Apr. 2018 Speaking at an investors conference in New York, the billionaire real estate magnate patted himself on the back for his enlightenment on gender issues. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Sam Zell promotes for merit, not because “we gotta get more pussy on the block.”," 6 June 2018 Officers patted them down to make sure none had weapons. Ryan Nakashima And Sudhin Thanawala, sacbee, "YouTube shooting investigated as domestic dispute, officials say | The Sacramento Bee," 3 Apr. 2018 When the station opened on Sunday, city and state officials patted themselves on the back for the completion of a vast municipal project. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "New York's Newest Subway Station: a Gateway to Dubai-on-the-Hudson," 15 Sep. 2015

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

pasul

PA system

PAT

pat

pataca

pat-a-cake

patache

Statistics for pat

Last Updated

4 Nov 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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