pattern

noun
pat·​tern | \ ˈpa-tərn How to pronounce pattern (audio) \

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 How to pronounce patterned (audio) \ adjective
patternless adjective

Synonyms for pattern

Synonyms: Noun

design, figure, motif, motive

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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

They get lost in their fears and in old patterns of self-loathing. Jerry Colonna, Quartz at Work, "The most important leadership skill is radical self-inquiry," 14 June 2019 Particles in solids are usually tightly packed in a regular pattern. Svenja Lohner, Scientific American, "In and Out: Demonstrating Boyle's Law," 13 June 2019 At the sales office earlier this month, staff served a green juice made from celery, mint leaf and cucumber, handed out warm hand towels and presented tiny colorful pastries organized in geometric patterns. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "A Russian Billionaire’s $1.3 Billion Bet on New York’s Iconic Crown Building," 13 June 2019 Portable toilets, wrapped in local-friendly patterns like the famed Portland airport carpet or Trail Blazers colors, will initially be placed in high-need areas in downtown, Southeast Portland and outer East Portland, according to the city analysis. oregonlive.com, "Portland has a plan for its human poop problem," 11 June 2019 Among the charges the 33-year-old Drennan faces is engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Sharonville owner of Basement Boost 'in the business of deception,' says Ohio AG Yost," 11 June 2019 Set the remaining 6 strips in a lattice pattern on top (no need to weave) and press the pastry edges together to seal them. Jean Kressy, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Native strawberries and rhubarb bake together in this old-fashioned New England pie," 10 June 2019 The stars shine down in patterns humans have tried to make sense of for millennia. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Aliens," 5 June 2019 The video then cuts to Samson standing with his father, holding a razor and doing a mock shave in the pattern his father told him to. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Gillette's New Ad Shows a Transgender Man's First Shave," 29 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then, as the Raptors advanced through the playoffs, the team patterned itself after him. Matthew De Silva, Quartz at Work, "In praise of quiet charisma," 14 June 2019 Remote Shoals is patterned after the popular Tulsa Remote program, established in 2018 to attract remote workers to Tulsa, Okla. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "Remote tech worker? You could make $10K relocating to the Shoals," 10 June 2019 The monochromatic trend throws away the stereotype of wearing complementary colors and creates a color or patterned compilation that oddly flows together. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Will Monochromatic Looks Become Fall's Biggest Trend?," 5 June 2019 Michael Levin at Tufts University was among the earliest to wonder if a cell’s inability to communicate normally with the body’s patterning networks was also relevant to the behavior of cancer. Sally Adee, Quartz, "Our bodies are full of electricity that could help us fight cancer," 30 May 2019 Additionally, all of the items are made with dead stock fabrics and patterned in a way that eliminates waste. Teen Vogue, "Designer Kelsey Randall Has Launched a Line of Made-to-Order Baby Doll Dresses," 29 May 2019 Fans of the brand will recognize the inky indigo dye Adire patterns that draw on centuries-old secret codes from seasons past, including one known as Omi, which means water in Yoruba. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Maki Oh Has the Antidote to Sleazy Silk Shirts, Straight From Lagos, Nigeria," 16 Jan. 2019 The shop’s signature porcelain collection includes Kebaya Bleu, plates awash in a cobalt-blue-and-white botanic motif patterned after the embroidery on kebaya, traditional blouses worn by Peranakan women. Robyn Eckhardt, WSJ, "Two Strategic Days in Singapore: Where to Splurge, Where to Save," 4 Jan. 2019 Notice the Asian-style guest house, patterned after 16th century Japanese architecture. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beyond Chicago: 5 other Illinois cities to visit during this bicentennial year," 13 Apr. 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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for pattern

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce pattern (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pattern (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pattern (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on pattern

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pattern

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pattern

Spanish Central: Translation of pattern

Nglish: Translation of pattern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pattern for Arabic Speakers

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