pat·​sy | \ ˈpat-sē How to pronounce patsy (audio) \
plural patsies

Definition of patsy

: a person who is easily manipulated or victimized : pushover

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Synonyms for patsy


chump, dupe, gull, mug [chiefly British], pigeon, pushover, sap, soft touch, sucker, tool

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Examples of patsy in a Sentence

They treated us like a bunch of patsies. an Internet newbie who's the perfect patsy for a cyber scam

Recent Examples on the Web

In the federal case, the apparent patsy picked to take the rap for four unsolved 2013 burglaries was a black Haitian American 16-year-old who lived with his family in a duplex on Northwest 12th Court. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 The Baltimore Orioles have become baseball’s patsies this season, entering Monday with a six-game losing streak and the worst record in the majors. New York Times, "Split Doubleheader Costs Yankees Ground in A.L. East Race," 9 July 2018 Like Paul, D’Antoni is affixed with an easy label, regular-season visionary and postseason patsy. Lee Jenkins,, "Space City: How Faith Fuels the Rockets' Explosive Offense," 1 May 2018 The parable of the innocent candidate, who is hired as a patsy in the political ruckus and turns out, annoyingly, to possess a conscience, is a cinematic staple. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "“This Is Our Land” and “Le Corbeau”," 5 July 2010 In that scenario, Trump will end up being just another patsy for the regime. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Senators Worry Trump Will Get Played by Kim Jong-Un," 11 Mar. 2018 Given the number of suspicious identities involved, Mr. Speers wanted to make sure Mr. Lyles wasn’t a patsy. Annamaria Andriotis, WSJ, "The New ID Theft: Millions of Credit Applicants Who Don’t Exist," 6 Mar. 2018 The Bulls have allowed the second-most points per game to shooting guards this season, making them a willing patsy for Clarkson. Cory Hanley,, "NBA DFS Picks for January 26," 26 Jan. 2018 Few impress the audience as much as Oldman, who plays presidential assassin (or rather a patsy, according to this story) Lee Harvey Oswald., "Before 'Darkest Hour,' Gary Oldman's 15 best performances," 22 Dec. 2017

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

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for patsy

perhaps from Italian pazzo fool

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Time Traveler for patsy

The first known use of patsy was in 1899

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English Language Learners Definition of patsy

chiefly US, informal : a foolish person who is easily tricked or cheated

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Comments on patsy

What made you want to look up patsy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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