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

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

States also grant waivers but can charge for things like the amount of time spent searching, sorting and redacting information, leading to a patchwork of fees nationwide. Washington Post, "Hawaii denies request for phone logs related to false alert," 13 Mar. 2018 Bieber’s pieces were heavy on the stitching and patchwork, and color-blocked in green and navy. Vogue, "Justin Bieber’s Coachella Comeback Featured a Crazy-Cool British Designer," 22 Apr. 2019 Each state has its own patchwork of laws about the ages kids are allowed to be left unattended. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the Free-Range Parenting Method," 14 Mar. 2019 Think herringbone and patchwork, earthy shades and organic shapes. Kim Cook, The Seattle Times, "As you decorate for fall, remember: Cozy," 7 Sep. 2018 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

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

17 May 2019

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 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.

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

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!