patter

verb (1)
pat·​ter | \ ˈpa-tər How to pronounce patter (audio) \
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

patter

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

patter

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

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 How to pronounce patter (audio) \ 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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Patter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patter. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for patter

patter

verb
pat·​ter | \ ˈpa-tər How to pronounce patter (audio) \
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

patter

noun

Kids Definition of patter (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on patter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for patter

Nglish: Translation of patter for Spanish Speakers

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