pattern

noun
pat·tern | \ ˈpa-tərn \

Definition of pattern 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a form or model proposed for imitation : exemplar

2 : something designed or used as a model for making things a dressmaker's pattern

3 : an artistic, musical, literary, or mechanical design or form the geometrical pattern of the carpet the strict pattern of rhythm and rhyme for a sonnet —Gigi Marino

4 : a natural or chance configuration frost patterns the pattern of events

5 dated : a length of fabric sufficient for an article (as of clothing)

6a : the distribution of shrapnel, bombs on a target, or shot from a shotgun

b : the grouping made on a target by bullets

7 : a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a person, group, or institution a behavior pattern spending patterns the prevailing pattern of speech

8a : the flight path prescribed for an airplane that is coming in for a landing

b : a prescribed route to be followed by a pass receiver in football

10 : a discernible coherent system based on the intended interrelationship of component parts foreign policy patterns

11 : frequent or widespread incidence a pattern of dissent a pattern of violence

pattern

verb
patterned; patterning; patterns

Definition of pattern (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 dialectal, chiefly England

a : match

b : imitate

2 : to make, adapt, or fashion according to a pattern

3 : to furnish, adorn, or mark with a design

intransitive verb

: to form a pattern

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Other words from pattern

Noun

patterned \ˈpa-tərnd \ adjective
patternless adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for pattern

Noun

model, example, pattern, exemplar, ideal mean someone or something set before one for guidance or imitation. model applies to something taken or proposed as worthy of imitation. a decor that is a model of good taste example applies to a person to be imitated or in some contexts on no account to be imitated but to be regarded as a warning. children tend to follow the example of their parents pattern suggests a clear and detailed archetype or prototype. American industry set a pattern for others to follow exemplar suggests either a faultless example to be emulated or a perfect typification. cited Joan of Arc as the exemplar of courage ideal implies the best possible exemplification either in reality or in conception. never found a job that matched his ideal

Examples of pattern in a Sentence

Noun

The dishes have a floral pattern around the rim. The fabric comes in different colors and patterns. The rug is decorated with a geometric pattern. The shadows made a pattern of lines on the ground. They are studying behavior patterns among high-school students. Analysts are noticing different spending patterns by consumers. The trees followed a characteristic pattern of growth.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To track down food and ensure the survival of the colony, worker bees must draw on their knowledge of smells, patterns and efficient routes to and from the hive—a process that requires the insects to remember an encyclopedic amount of information. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Safe’ Levels of Pesticide Still Hamper Bees’ Memory and Ability to Learn," 12 July 2018 This may include things like sticking with a regular sleep pattern and reducing your stress if possible, Dr. Ishiyama says. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Tell if Vestibular Migraines Are Why You Get Dizzy So Often," 12 July 2018 That’s the normal summer pattern, and if storms do drift west of the mountains, they are usually weakened. Robert Krier, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Steamy weather might include thunderstorms," 10 July 2018 In ensembles that combine pattern and asymmetry, in duets and solos of thrilling contrasts and insistence, the choreography becomes the poems’ outer framework (dance often proceeds at length between stanzas) and their spiritual accompaniment. New York Times, "Review: Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Four Quartets’ Hits Poetic Heights," 8 July 2018 Rising seed prices, whacky weather patterns and new talk of tariffs create financial challenges and uncertainty. Emily Hopkins, Cincinnati.com, "Your produce is less healthy than it was 70 years ago. These farmers might change that," 4 July 2018 Off the court, Harden's ability to pull off the most wild patterns and color combinations without looking like a fashion try-hard *cough* Russell Westbrook *cough* is enviably. Demetrio Teniente, Houston Chronicle, "With adidas James Harden has plenty of room to create," 4 July 2018 The brown spotted print from her polo outfit has resurged as an in-demand pattern of the season, and polka dots in general are having a moment this year. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Had a Pretty Woman Moment at a Polo Match Over the Weekend," 2 July 2018 Ross said their enrollments also reflect immigrant patterns and the nation's rules for refugee resettlement — when families are coming or the rules for refugee status tighten — the academy gets less students. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "'After the headlines have faded,' they will be the first to see immigrant children's trauma," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His Instagram story is filled with puppies, Drake references, and patterned short-sleeve button-down shirts. refinery29.com, "Can We Start The Wills Reid For Bachelor Campaign Right Now?," 10 July 2018 There were a lot of oversized, blouse-like smocks teamed with fringed scarves, both of which came patterned in fadedly opaque florals. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Male Patterned Boldness: Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Sartoria Ode to Villa Carlotta," 9 July 2018 The salt therapy room contains about 3,000 pounds of Himalayan salt bricks that are vertically patterned on two opposing walls capping the room. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "Sitting in a room of salt is a new trend in Indianapolis. Here's how it works.," 29 June 2018 Of course, not everything is from or patterned after a name designer. Paul Jablow, Philly.com, "A South Street apartment's journey from eclectic to psychedelic and back again," 19 June 2018 For the family celebration, Meghan stepped out in a blue-and-white patterned Oscar de la Renta gown. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Attended the Wedding of Princess Diana's Niece This Weekend," 17 June 2018 The end result is a line of rugs that, true to its description, are more outlandish than your standard chevron patterned weave. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ikea has a fun line of statement rugs coming in 2019," 14 June 2018 Literature is life ordered, patterned and enhanced. William Giraldi, The Seattle Times, "Glen David Gold’s new memoir is ‘a soiree of heart-wreck wised up by humor’," 9 July 2018 Even the mail room has panache, with brass fixtures and patterned wallpaper. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Well-crafted Jackson Square condos rich in design inspiration," 2 July 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pattern

Noun

Middle English patron, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin patronus

Verb

see pattern entry 1

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Statistics for pattern

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pattern

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

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More Definitions for pattern

pattern

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pattern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a repeated form or design especially that is used to decorate something

: the regular and repeated way in which something happens or is done

: something that happens in a regular and repeated way

pattern

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pattern (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or design (something) so that it is similar to something else of the same type

: to decorate or mark (something) with a design : to form a pattern on (something)

pattern

noun
pat·tern | \ ˈpa-tərn \

Kids Definition of pattern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the form or figures used in decoration : design The cloth has a fancy pattern.

2 : a model or guide for making something Mom used a pattern to make the dress.

3 : the regular and repeated way in which something is done Their behavior has fallen into a pattern.

4 : something worth copying : model

Other words from pattern

patterned \-tərnd \ adjective

pattern

verb
patterned; patterning

Kids Definition of pattern (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or develop by following an example The building was patterned on a Greek temple.

2 : to have a design He wore a tie patterned with flags.

pattern

noun
pat·tern | \ ˈpat-ərn \

Medical Definition of pattern 

1 : a model for making a mold used to form a casting

2 : a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a person, group, or institution patterns of behavior

3 : an established mode of behavior or cluster of mental attitudes, beliefs, and values that are held in common by members of a group

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pattern

noun
pat·tern | \ ˈpa-tərn \

Legal Definition of pattern 

1 : a form or model proposed for imitation

2 : a recognizably consistent series of related acts found a pattern of discrimination in that company a pattern of racketeering activity

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