\ ˈpa-chē How to pronounce patchy (audio) \
patchier; patchiest

Definition of patchy

1 : marked by, consisting of, or diversified with patches
2 : irregular in appearance, makeup, or quality

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Other Words from patchy

patchily \ ˈpa-​chə-​lē How to pronounce patchily (audio) \ adverb
patchiness \ ˈpa-​chē-​nəs How to pronounce patchiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of patchy in a Sentence

The lawn is kind of patchy this year. Patchy fog made driving difficult. His knowledge of the language is patchy. She has only a patchy understanding of his condition.
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Recent Examples on the Web But record-keeping in India’s infamously Kafkaesque bureaucracy is patchy at best and often riddled with errors. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Muslims in India rush to collect documents as anxiety over citizenship registry spreads," 21 Feb. 2020 From there, light snow and patchy blowing snow is forecast to continue for much of the day Thursday. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Snow starts tonight followed by arctic blast that will bring coldest air of the winter," 12 Feb. 2020 Museums and the art market tried to review works that came to market with patchy histories. Graham Bowley, New York Times, "The Mystery of the Painting in Gallery 634," 8 Feb. 2020 The geese puttering around the patchy grass could give two poops, too. San Francisco Chronicle, "For inmates, the San Quentin Marathon offers 26.2 miles of life beyond bars," 20 Dec. 2019 My dermatologist diagnosed these issues as psoriasis, a condition that causes patches of thickened, dry, red, patchy skin. Deana Bianco, SELF, "4 Hacks I Use to Make My Thin, Patchy Eyebrows Look Way Fuller," 27 Nov. 2019 The global picture for mergers and acquisitions in 2019 was patchy however. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "The Year in M&A: ‘Super Mega’ Deals and a Fourth-Quarter Surge Put Dealmakers on Top in 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 On the other hand, infrastructure growth in MMR has been patchy and not kept pace with the city’s population growth. Anuj Puri, Quartz India, "In the Delhi versus Mumbai real estate debate, there’s no easy answer," 19 Dec. 2019 At times his voice sounded a little patchy and rough. New York Times, "Review: A Conductor and Soprano Test Wagnerian Waters," 14 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patchy.' 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 patchy

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for patchy

Time Traveler

The first known use of patchy was in 1583

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Statistics for patchy

Last Updated

9 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Patchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for patchy


How to pronounce patchy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of patchy

: having some parts that are good and some that are bad
: existing or seen in some areas but not others
: not thorough or complete enough to be useful

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More from Merriam-Webster on patchy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for patchy

Spanish Central: Translation of patchy

Nglish: Translation of patchy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of patchy for Arabic Speakers

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