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

Definition of patsy

: a person who is easily manipulated or victimized : pushover

Synonyms for patsy


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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 Perhaps no moment better exemplifies the depths of the show’s grace than when, in Season 1, a rather cruel scheme by club owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), of which Ted is the unknowing patsy, reaches its apex. Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2021 Liddy’s place in the Watergate Cinematic Universe was somewhere between villain and underling, jester and patsy. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2021 But Walter resisted the reflex to play Evelyn as a B-movie banshee, or a pathetic patsy of the feminist movement the film caricatures so floridly. Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2021 But now Liz is telling him that Katarina was framed by her father as a patsy, and Raymond Reddington is the real N13 — the real reason Townsend's family is dead. Jodi Walker,, 6 Mar. 2021 Matt Campbell’s team at Iowa State sets up as the patsy today. oregonlive, 2 Jan. 2021 Few were persuaded, and the thread descended into conspiracies, including that Sayoc was a patsy in a Democratic National Committee scheme to discredit conservatives., 1 Oct. 2020 Indeed, what if the whole lurid rap sheet has been an elaborate set-up, with Nero as history’s patsy? Gaia Squarci, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Sep. 2020 Technology has emerged as something of a patsy for the broader problems of unemployment systems. NBC News, 23 Apr. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Patsy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of patsy

: a foolish person who is easily tricked or cheated


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