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 pattern (audio) \ adjective
patternless adjective

Synonyms for pattern

Synonyms: Noun

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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 As McGhee notes, the pattern carries on to this day. Robert Kuttner, The New York Review of Books, "Dividends of a Just Economy," 13 Apr. 2021 Rain chances will also accompany the cooler pattern for several days. Dallas News, "Warm ahead of evening cold front which could spark storms," 12 Apr. 2021 The pattern looks March-like into next week with a few showers today, ending as a slushy mix Tuesday. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Weather Models: A Few Slushy Encounters," 11 Apr. 2021 The stipulations are following the same haphazard pattern that has characterized so much of the U.S. pandemic response, varying company by company, state by state, and subject to the vagaries of local politics. BostonGlobe.com, "Vaccine requirements spread in US, sowing concern on overreach," 11 Apr. 2021 However, there are a few possible reasons for the pattern documented on Twitter and Reddit. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Why Are People Experiencing Unusual Period Symptoms After Getting Vaccinated?," 9 Apr. 2021 Coronavirus spikes around the world have followed the same pattern since the start of the pandemic: infections first, followed by hospitalizations, and then deaths. Detroit Free Press, "Workers weary, patients angry, as COVID-19 fills Michigan hospitals — again," 9 Apr. 2021 If the pattern continues, Transylmania will be even leggier than Summer Vacation which was even leggier than Hotel Transylvania 2 which was leggier than Hotel Transylvania. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "Box Office: How ‘Hotel Transylvania’ Became One Of Hollywood’s Leggiest Franchises," 9 Apr. 2021 There’s also the pattern of the waterfall and the pressure of the water itself. Jon Winkler, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Thursday," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The most effective way to kill a giant whitetail is to pattern him on trail camera and hunt him to the exclusion of all others. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "10 Lessons from the 2020 Deer Season," 5 Jan. 2021 Cox explained that this partnership unfolded as the state tried to pattern its handling of the pandemic after South Korea’s example. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Spencer Cox reemerges in leading role of state’s pandemic response," 2 Sep. 2020 When scouting, remember that the goal is not to bump and push hogs out of an area, but simply to pattern their movements in order to formulate a hunting strategy. Mike Dickerson, Outdoor Life, "9 Ways to Hunt Hogs in Mid-Summer," 4 Aug. 2020 The community is now a destination for art lovers and people wanting to learn to make the exquisite, colorfully patterned quilts. Kelly Kazek | Kkazek@al.com, al, "The colorful folk-art quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama," 1 June 2020 Maisonette has brightly printed and patterned cotton face masks in small, medium and large sizes. oregonlive, "Finding a face mask to fit a child: Disney-theme masks go to daycare," 15 May 2020 Her inspiration: the signature patterned silk scarves that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, showcases in the near-daily press conferences led by the president. Rory Satran, WSJ, "Dr. Birx’s Scarves Are the Surprise Hit of Coronavirus Briefings," 24 Apr. 2020 Heavy, patterned makeup and hair straight out of a JRPG are impractical for daily life, but all of us put on some kind of clothing to leave the house. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Some shirts hide you from cameras—but will anyone wear them?," 10 Apr. 2020 The ground can be big or small, square or oblong, blank or patterned—and the choice restricts the pool of possible figures, by color and size and grain. Luc Sante, The New York Review of Books, "My Quarantine: The Calm of Collaging," 23 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pattern

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pattern

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pattern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pattern. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on pattern

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