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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

With no budget passed, around 90% of state spending had to be disbursed through a patchwork of state laws and court orders. The Economist, "Bruce Rauner discovers bipartisanship," 5 July 2018 In Massachusetts, a patchwork of local ordinances left some communities dry or without liquor stores. Stephanie Schorow, BostonGlobe.com, "What should marijuana opponents do when their cause fails? A lesson from Prohibition," 23 June 2018 The fur of Weddell seals appeared like beautiful patchwork, speckled with splotches of grey on dark-silver skin. Kasha Patel, Smithsonian, "How Data-Gathering Seals Help Scientists Measure the Melting Antarctic," 13 July 2018 Scales delivers a powerful patchwork of blues, soul, gospel and rock that can get the goosebumps going. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Grayling album release, J. Walker & the Crossguards, Chris Canas," 12 July 2018 State-level laws, meanwhile, remain patchwork, with many expanding gun rights and others restricting them. Jon Schuppe /, NBC News, "What is gun control? What you need to know," 5 June 2018 There's this patchwork, countryside feel to it that's a long way from the urban majesty of Sgt. Ron Hart, Billboard, "Small Faces' 'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake' Turns 50: Phil Collen, Peter Frampton, Linda Thompson & More Pay Tribute," 24 May 2018 But the patchwork of local regulations — some cities and counties have banned all commercial activity — has erected barriers to getting pot from place to place. Michael R. Blood, The Seattle Times, "After California pot stockpiles go up in smoke, what’s next?," 27 Jan. 2018 Seen from a helicopter just before harvest season, marijuana grows are like a green patchwork across one southwestern county, one drug enforcement officer recalled. Washington Post, "Oregon’s medical marijuana program admits to problems," 13 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of patchwork

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about patchwork

Statistics for patchwork

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for patchwork

The first known use of patchwork was in 1634

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on patchwork

What made you want to look up patchwork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!