patchy

adjective
\ 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 The lack of legal recourse is concerning in an industry where other oversight measures are patchy at best. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Centuries-old laws may shield the cruise industry from huge payouts in coronavirus suits," 2 Apr. 2020 Dirt, oil, and makeup buildup can weigh down brush hairs, making them harder to work with—which can mean streaky foundation and patchy blush down the line. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "How to Clean Makeup Brushes the Right Way," 31 Mar. 2020 Started in 2004, it was designed to prevent a repeat of the SARS epidemic, when slow, patchy reporting, compounded by local leaders’ reluctance to share bad news, delayed the government’s fight. Steven Lee Myers, BostonGlobe.com, "China created a fail-safe system to track contagions. It failed.," 29 Mar. 2020 Started in 2004, it was designed to prevent a repeat of the SARS epidemic, when slow, patchy reporting, compounded by local leaders’ reluctance to share bad news, delayed the government’s fight. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, "China Created a Fail-Safe System to Track Contagions. It Failed.," 29 Mar. 2020 Foggy conditions with reduced visibility less than 5 miles will linger into mid-morning with patchy areas of drizzle through midday. Dallas News, "Big warm up on the way," 22 Mar. 2020 That results in white, pale or patchy coloration of their hide. Francisco Guzman And Brian Ries, CNN, "Rare white giraffes killed by poachers at Kenyan wildlife sancutary," 10 Mar. 2020 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

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

6 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Patchy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patchy. Accessed 10 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for patchy

patchy

adjective
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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