patchwork

noun, often attributive
patch·​work | \ ˈpach-ˌwərk How to pronounce patchwork (audio) \

Definition of patchwork

1 : something composed of miscellaneous or incongruous parts : hodgepodge
2 : pieces of cloth of various colors and shapes sewn together to form a covering also : something resembling such a covering a patchwork of fields

Illustration of patchwork

Illustration of patchwork

patchwork 2

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Examples of patchwork in a Sentence

The valley is a patchwork of family farms. A patchwork of laws prevent the land from being developed. a patchwork system of laws
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Recent Examples on the Web

The founder, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud, needed cash to run his country, created from a patchwork of tribes. Stanley Reed, New York Times, "An Oil Giant Is Taking Big Steps. Saudi Arabia Can’t Afford for It to Slip.," 16 June 2018 The technology giant had been relying on a patchwork of smaller banks to allow Apple’s customers to lease iPhones, store cash in digital wallets and text money to friends. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Apple’s Deal With Goldman Has Wall Street on Defense," 25 Feb. 2019 But if not, we'll be left with a patchwork of coverage across the country, which just yields confusion. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "A Federal Judge Blocked the Trump Administration's New Birth Control Rules in 13 States and D.C.," 14 Jan. 2019 But without federal standards, automakers and tech companies have to deal with a patchwork of state laws. Verge Staff, The Verge, "What the new Congress means for space, self-driving cars, and regulating Facebook," 7 Nov. 2018 Two men vanished after the heist into a vast patchwork of lakes around Strangnas, 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the capital Stockholm around noon Tuesday, police said. Fox News, "Thieves steal Swedish royal jewels, escape by speedboat," 1 Aug. 2018 The change has broad implications for identity and for the country’s political and economic life, transforming a mostly white baby boomer society into a multiethnic and racial patchwork. Sabrina Tavernise, BostonGlobe.com, "Fewer births than deaths among whites in majority of US states," 20 June 2018 Like most of the novel’s cast, Burgh is a patchwork of real-life people: a pinch of Mark Rothko (alcoholism and depression), a touch of Philip Guston (early years as a muralist), perhaps a little of Sandler himself (service in World War II). Jackson Arn, WSJ, "‘Goodbye to Tenth Street’ Review: A Final Sweeping," 15 Feb. 2019 The property is actually a patchwork of 17 lots with six residential tracts that afford the possibility of constructing up to six houses of 50,000 square feet each, a total of 300,000 square feet. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "An Empty Lot Above Beverly Hills Is the Most Expensive Real Estate in the World," 17 Jan. 2019

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

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for patchwork

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for patchwork

The first known use of patchwork was in 1634

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More Definitions for patchwork

patchwork

noun

English Language Learners Definition of patchwork

: something that is made up of different things
: pieces of cloth of different colors and shapes that are sewn together in a pattern

patchwork

noun
patch·​work | \ ˈpach-ˌwərk How to pronounce patchwork (audio) \

Kids Definition of patchwork

1 : pieces of cloth of different colors and shapes sewed together
2 : something made up of different parts The farm is a patchwork of fields.

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Comments on patchwork

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