patchwork

noun, often attributive
patch·​work | \ ˈpach-ˌwərk \

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

Romantic and flattering feminine shapes with fluted sleeves, ruffles and wrap detailing are contrasted against bright animal prints and opposing patchwork print styles. Minna Shim, Harper's BAZAAR, "The London-Based Brand Fashion Girls Are Obsessed With," 24 Jan. 2019 The families here at Khumib were living in temporary tents, rickety frameworks of sticks covered in patchwork rags, that would be packed away onto the back of a donkey in a morning. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Her patchwork shirt is a real testimony to people’s frugality with clothing. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "New SCAD Exhibit Offers Outlander Fans the Chance to See This Season's Costumes Before They Air," 18 Nov. 2018 For customers who lack experience with EVs, this patchwork network can bring frustration. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Electric cars still face a big hurdle: the charging system," 3 Oct. 2018 But beyond its role as a representation of England, the city is also a global metropolis where the world’s cultures unfold in a sprawling patchwork of diverse neighborhoods. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Where to Find London’s Hidden French Side," 7 Jan. 2019 But the rules are enforced by each individual state, leading to what many observers call a patchwork that leaves parts of the bloc open to abuse. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "Europe Ends Scandal-Plagued 2018 With Plan to Target Money Laundering," 27 Dec. 2018 Across Boston's patchwork of squares, corners, and crossings, here are 16 of the best things to do. Elizabeth Wellington, Condé Nast Traveler, "16 Best Things to Do in Boston," 2 Aug. 2018 Without federal direction, cities and states are left to act on their own, creating a patchwork of rules and red tape for companies plowing billions into the technology and hoping to eventually turn their testing into profitable ventures. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Self-Driving Cars Encounter Political Roadblocks," 19 Nov. 2018

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

8 Feb 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 \

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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