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

Valdez then took the ashes and used them to create the black patina for the outsize eagle lying crumpled on the gallery floor. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Getting real in a stirring show at Mass MoCA," 13 June 2019 Within a year, the copper acquired a brown patina, and the house finally seemed to blend a bit with its surroundings. Tina Daunt, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: Bob Hope house in Palm Springs, long an architectural footnote, approaches masterpiece status," 8 June 2019 Within a year, the copper acquired a brown patina, and the house finally seemed to blend a bit with its surroundings. Tina Daunt, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: Bob Hope house in Palm Springs, long an architectural footnote, approaches masterpiece status," 8 June 2019 Plus the leather and wood will acquire a patina, which will make your creation a treasured one-of-a-kind item. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Build This Stylish Tripod Camping Stool That Looks Great Anywhere," 12 Apr. 2016 Within a year, the copper acquired a brown patina, and the house finally seemed to blend a bit with its surroundings. Tina Daunt, latimes.com, "Bob Hope house in Palm Springs, long an architectural footnote, approaches masterpiece status," 6 June 2019 In the same way, researchers are hoping that big data will lose its dark, threatening shades and reveal a patina of helpfulness. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Drones of Tomorrow Have a Data Problem," 11 May 2017 The resulting home features neutral colors for a soothing palette: There's plenty of Joanna Gaines's favorite shiplap, furniture with soft patinas, and luxe marble for the bathrooms. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Kate Upton Just Secretly Renovated Her Sister's Home," 10 Apr. 2019 The silverware is exhibited as spills of cutlery in three patinas: sterling silver, sterling silver with a rhodium finish, and stainless steel. Joan Juliet Buck, ELLE Decor, "The Greatness of Milan Through the Lens of Bottega Veneta," 29 Aug. 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

8 Jul 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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