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

The base of the ball is a striking multicoloured pattern, which has been designed to reflect the colours which can be seen in stadiums around Europe. SI.com, "Champions League: adidas Unveil Official Ball for 2019/20 Group Stage Games," 17 Sep. 2019 And the boot Meanwhile, the boot is kicking off in eight colors, three of which are patterns. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "How Sustainable Startup Rothy’s Found Success Turning Recycled Water Bottles into Fashionable Footwear," 15 Sep. 2019 There didn’t seem to be a pattern to why some players were in one session and others in another. Jimmy Greenfield, chicagotribune.com, "Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks open training camp with new players and a newfound confidence: ‘Just have to put it all together’," 13 Sep. 2019 Because the Heat cannot aggregate Leonard in a trade until Sept. 6 (two months from when he was acquired), perhaps there is an intentional holding pattern. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Could Heat invert, with big men shooting the threes?," 2 Sep. 2019 The cause of this drastic drop in breeding success on an island with nearly 350,000 birds is believed to be a weak El Niño weather pattern that occurred this year that affected California more acutely. Will Houston, The Mercury News, "Poor Farallon Islands bird breeding season prompts alarm," 2 Sep. 2019 Olson points out that this is the pattern in developing countries. Nr Staff, National Review, "Episode 162: Gaffe-Prone, but Going Strong," 30 Aug. 2019 El Nino is a weather pattern where parts of the Pacific periodically get warmer. Fox News, "World’s largest 'mass child sacrifice' site discovered in Peru: reports," 30 Aug. 2019 There is a growing pattern of tech luminaries posing as open to concerns and then swiftly dismissing them. Alexis Papazoglou, WIRED, "Silicon Valley's Secret Philosophers Should Share Their Work," 27 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bill is patterned after an Oregon law that has been in effect for over 20 years and has spread to seven other states plus the District of Columbia. Steve Karnowski, Twin Cities, "Minnesota lawmakers will hear assisted suicide bill," 10 Sep. 2019 For a bohemian vibe, add patterned removable wallpaper and pink and gold accent pieces. Maya Mcdowell, ELLE Decor, "This Versatile Desk Is the Perfect Anchor to Any Office Style," 29 Aug. 2019 The video was patterned after a series of Michelob ads of the era that featured contemporary rock artists such as Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Genesis. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Neil Young's 'This Note's For You' Beat Videos by Madonna & Michael Jackson at the 1989 VMAs," 24 Aug. 2019 And mighty Thor, Storl says, was at least partially patterned on bears. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "New book explores mankind’s fascination with bears, from Stone Age to 'Winnie the Pooh’," 31 Aug. 2019 Subban, 30, complemented Vonn’s look in a black and gold patterned button-down shirt and black pants. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Lindsey Vonn and P.K. Subban Raise Funds for Charity Ahead of Engagement News," 23 Aug. 2019 Alternatively, a colorful, patterned tea towel or dark, wide napkin can be tied around the neck of the bottle to catch any drips and keep them from landing in the butter dish. Sara Mae Albert, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Plan a Casual Chic Dinner Party," 2 Aug. 2019 Wearing marijuana patterned pants and a tank top, vocalist Bert McCracken showed why the band was a crowd favorite. Houston Chronicle, "Disrupt Festival brings high energy, emo back to Houston," 27 June 2019 Cones: Roll patterned stock paper into cones, secure, and tie with ribbon. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Mother's Day Cookie Bouquet," 6 May 2019

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

8 Oct 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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