patina

noun
pa·​ti·​na | \ pə-ˈtē-nə How to pronounce patina (audio) , ˈpa-tə-nə How to pronounce patina (audio) \
plural patinas\ pə-​ˈtē-​nəz How to pronounce patinas (audio) , ˈpa-​tə-​nəz \ or patinae\ pə-​ˈtē-​ˌnē How to pronounce patinae (audio) , -​ˌnī , ˈpa-​tə-​ \

Definition of patina

1a : a usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color
b : a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use the beautiful patina of this antique table
2 : an appearance or aura that is derived from association, habit, or established character the criminal has acquired a patina of respectability by his friendship with well-known businessmen
3 : a superficial covering or exterior The toast was spread with a patina of butter.

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Did You Know?

Italians began using "patina" in the 17th century to refer to the green film that is produced on the surface of copper. They borrowed the word from Latin, where it means "a shallow dish." (Presumably, the Italian meaning developed from the observation of such film forming on copper dishes.) By the mid-18th century, English speakers were also calling the green film "patina." And by the early 20th century, "patina" was being used in English for the gloss of polished metals, like silver, as well as wooden furniture - a meaning that led to its literary use for a surrounding aura, as demonstrated in this quote from Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm (1932): "The very atmosphere seemed covered with a rich patina of love."

Examples of patina in a Sentence

although the winery is brand-new, it has been constructed and decorated to give it a patina of old-world quaintness

Recent Examples on the Web

Born in Ireland, Mr. Roche made his career mostly in the U.S. and pioneered the use of indoor gardens, concealed parking spaces, reflective glass and steel alloys with rust-like patinas. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Kevin Roche Imagined Work Spaces to Make Office Life Livelier," 8 Mar. 2019 Sometimes the pieces get some extra patina, but that’s what happens when things are used. Adam Sachs, ELLE Decor, "In this Copenhagen Home, Family and Business Unite With Great Design," 27 Sep. 2018 With furniture, buying something old with a nice patina can validate your environment. Joanna Saltz, House Beautiful, "Five Designers on How to Make Old Things New Again," 8 Feb. 2019 While some may be bothered by the imperfections, others love the rustic look and embrace the rich patina that develops over time. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Concrete Countertops: Is the Home Trend All It's Cracked up to Be?," 12 Dec. 2018 Bronze toppers adorned with cubic zirconia garnets (Elson’s birthstone), amethysts, sapphires, and more that will develop an antique-like patina over time. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "What’s Your Sign? Karen Elson on Her New Birthstone Perfume Bottle Tops," 18 Jan. 2019 The leather was chosen for its ability to develop a patina over time, making each piece unique. Kavita Daswani, latimes.com, "Brazilian brand Cariuma to open footwear pop-up at the Grove on Saturday," 27 Apr. 2018 Over the years, with proper care, your cast-iron will develop a deep, dark patina. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Cast Iron the Right Way," 27 Aug. 2018 Living surface sinks are made with metal materials like cast bronze that can develop a unique patina over time. Ed Del Grande, The Seattle Times, "Create a one-of-a-kind bathroom with a living surface sink," 24 July 2018

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

1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for patina

Italian, from Latin, shallow dish — more at paten

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Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for patina

The first known use of patina was in 1748

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More Definitions for patina

patina

noun

English Language Learners Definition of patina

: a thin usually green layer that forms naturally on the metals copper and bronze when they are exposed to the air for a long time
: a shiny or dark surface that forms naturally on something (such as wood or leather) that is used for a long time
: a thin layer

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More from Merriam-Webster on patina

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with patina

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for patina

Spanish Central: Translation of patina

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about patina

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