patchier; patchiest
: marked by, consisting of, or diversified with patches
: irregular in appearance, makeup, or quality
patchily adverb
patchiness 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Previous stretchable displays that place OLEDs on islands become patchy and lose resolution when stretched [left]. IEEE Spectrum, 4 June 2024 Across much of the state, forecasts show a cool, cloudy start to the holiday weekend Friday and Saturday, with a chance for some patchy drizzles in the morning from a particularly deep marine layer, especially in Southern California. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 24 May 2024 But the company’s decision to produce its streaming series like multi-episode feature films, matched with the dramatic increase in production, also reportedly led to rocketing budgets and patchy quality control. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 21 May 2024 Chances of rain are even higher Saturday, with showers expected through about 3 p.m., along with patchy fog and mildly breezy conditions. Jonathan M. Pitts, Baltimore Sun, 25 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for patchy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'patchy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of patchy was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near patchy

Cite this Entry

“Patchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


patchier; patchiest
: consisting of or marked by patches : resembling patchwork
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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