patois

noun
pa·​tois | \ ˈpa-ˌtwä How to pronounce patois (audio) , ˈpä- How to pronounce patois (audio) \
plural patois\ ˈpa-​ˌtwäz How to pronounce patois (audio) , ˈpä-​ \

Definition of patois

1a : a dialect other than the standard or literary dialect
b : uneducated or provincial speech
2 : the characteristic special language of an occupational or social group : jargon

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Examples of patois in a Sentence

the medical patois that the hospital staffers used among themselves was incomprehensible to me
Recent Examples on the Web Camboulay, another vernacular expression of the French patois, from cannes brulees, refers to the practice of carrying torches of burning cane stalks during the riot. M Nourbese Philip, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pay De Devil: On Celebrating Jouvay," 16 Feb. 2021 Should they be condemned to speak the patois of their family members, with no education in grammar? Bryan A. Garner, National Review, "A New Socratic Dialogue: Part 1 of 3," 3 Sep. 2020 That culture, which also blends West Indian influence, includes crafts like sweetgrass basket weaving, music, spirituality and philosophy, heritage agriculture, and a distinctive patois with rhythms and pronunciation all its own. John Huey, Southern Living, "The Ultimate Boat Trip Through South Carolina's Undiscovered Lowcountry," 10 July 2020 The premise is that Emily Dickinson speaks in modern teen-age patois, scored to Billie Eilish. The New Yorker, "What to Watch, Listen to, and Read While Coronavirus Self-Quarantining," 19 Mar. 2020 The premise is that Emily Dickinson speaks in modern teen-age patois, scored to Billie Eilish. The New Yorker, "What to Watch, Listen to, and Read While Coronavirus Self-Quarantining," 19 Mar. 2020 The premise is that Emily Dickinson speaks in modern teen-age patois, scored to Billie Eilish. The New Yorker, "What to Watch, Listen to, and Read While Coronavirus Self-Quarantining," 19 Mar. 2020 Then the man said something else, in a heavy patois. Bryan Washington, The New Yorker, "Visitor," 13 Jan. 2020 They weren’t meant for public consumption, and the people sitting in the audience all spoke the same fashion patois. National Geographic, "The idea of beauty is always shifting. Today, it’s more inclusive than ever.," 7 Jan. 2020

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

1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for patois

French

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Statistics for patois

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Patois.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patois. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for patois

patois

noun

English Language Learners Definition of patois

: a form of a language that is spoken only in a particular area and that is different from the main form of the same language

More from Merriam-Webster on patois

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for patois

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about patois

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