pat·​sy ˈpat-sē How to pronounce patsy (audio)
plural patsies
: a person who is easily manipulated or victimized : pushover

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 The Denver corporate lawyer’s nearly two years at the EPA were marked by high-level resignations, a shoot-from-the-hip style and accusations the nation’s top environmental official was a willing patsy for polluters. Dan Morrison, USA TODAY, 28 June 2024 Ernest, played by an actor with over three decades of sympathy behind him, ultimately reads like a patsy rather than an originator of cruelty. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, 12 Jan. 2024 Netanyahu and his cronies, in turn, portrayed the country’s military and intelligence leadership as defeatist left-wing patsies. Aluf Benn, Foreign Affairs, 6 Feb. 2019 The government uses people as patsies to hide its involvement in criminal activity. Mark Travers, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for patsy 

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

Word History


perhaps from Italian pazzo fool

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of patsy was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near patsy

Cite this Entry

“Patsy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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