verb (1)
pat·​ter | \ˈpa-tər \
pattered; pattering; patters

Definition of patter 

(Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

: to say or speak in a rapid or mechanical manner

intransitive verb

1 : to recite prayers (such as paternosters) rapidly or mechanically

2 : to talk glibly and volubly

3 : to speak or sing rapid-fire words in a theatrical performance


noun (1)

Definition of patter (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a specialized lingo : cant especially : the jargon of criminals (such as thieves)

2 : the spiel of a street hawker or of a circus barker

3 : empty chattering talk

4a(1) : the rapid-fire talk of a comedian

(2) : the talk with which an entertainer accompanies a routine

b : the words of a comic song or of a rapidly spoken usually humorous monologue introduced into such a song


verb (2)
pattered; pattering; patters

Definition of patter (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to strike or pat rapidly and repeatedly

2 : to run with quick light-sounding steps

transitive verb

: to cause to patter


noun (2)

Definition of patter (Entry 4 of 4)

: a quick succession of light sounds or pats

Other Words from patter

Verb (1)

patterer \ˈpa-​tər-​ər \ noun

First Known Use of patter

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (1)

1758, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1611, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1822, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for patter

Verb (1)

Middle English patren, from paternoster

Verb (2)

frequentative of pat entry 3

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Time Traveler for patter

The first known use of patter was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for patter


pat·​ter | \ˈpa-tər \
pattered; pattering

Kids Definition of patter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to strike again and again with light blows We could hear rain pattering on the roof.

2 : to run with quick light steps



Kids Definition of patter (Entry 2 of 2)

: a series of quick light sounds We heard the patter of little feet.

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More from Merriam-Webster on patter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with patter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for patter

Spanish Central: Translation of patter

Nglish: Translation of patter for Spanish Speakers

Comments on patter

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to enclose within walls

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