1

pattern

noun pat·tern \ ˈpa-tərn \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of pattern

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)
6 a : 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
8 a : 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

patterned

play \ˈpa-tərnd\ adjective

patternless

adjective

Examples of pattern in a Sentence

  1. The dishes have a floral pattern around the rim.

  2. The fabric comes in different colors and patterns.

  3. The rug is decorated with a geometric pattern.

  4. The shadows made a pattern of lines on the ground.

  5. They are studying behavior patterns among high-school students.

  6. Analysts are noticing different spending patterns by consumers.

  7. The trees followed a characteristic pattern of growth.

Recent Examples of pattern from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of pattern

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

pattern Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of pattern

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

Other Handicraft Terms


2

pattern

verb

Definition of pattern

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

Recent Examples of pattern from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of pattern



PATTERN Defined for English Language Learners

pattern

noun

Definition of pattern for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of pattern for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

pattern

noun pat·tern \ ˈpa-tərn \

Definition of pattern for Students

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

patterned

\-tərnd\ adjective

History for pattern

In medieval English a person who served as a model to be copied was called a patron. Some people began to say patron in such a way that the sound of the r changed its place. Patron soon became pattern. After a time pattern, the new way of saying the word, was used just for the meaning “a model to be copied.” The older patron lost that meaning, though it kept its other senses. In this way we got a new word, pattern, from an older word, patron.


2

pattern

verb

Definition of pattern for Students

patterned; patterning
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.

Medical Dictionary

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

Law Dictionary

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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