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

Revolutions often follow a pattern: Noble aspirations give way to conflict. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Revolutionary’ Review: The Real Revolution," 29 Mar. 2019 But if this release follows the pattern of other European releases, the blinds should be available in the U.S. sometime in the spring. Temi Adebowale, House Beautiful, "IKEA Is Launching Smart Window Treatments For Your Smart Hubs," 8 Jan. 2019 Step 1: Does the communication follow a special pattern called Zipf’s law? Brian Resnick, Vox, "What humpback whales can teach us about alien languages," 6 Dec. 2018 But the app’s success does follow a familiar pattern for Bytedance, which has demonstrated a startling ability to launch, grow, and sustain services that have users hooked. Sam Byford, The Verge, "How China’s Bytedance became the world’s most valuable startup," 30 Nov. 2018 The controversy follows a pattern of concerns raised by former senior military officers about Trump’s grasp of the military’s role. Robert Burns, The Seattle Times, "Trump criticizes war hero for not killing bin Laden sooner," 20 Nov. 2018 Plat points out that Hay doesn’t follow the typical pattern for retail collections. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Is America ready for Denmark’s coolest design brand?," 1 Nov. 2018 But the diamonds, placed to follow the swirly pattern of her hair, are what bring the look into 2018. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Cardi B Wore Diamonds in Her Hair, and Now I Want Diamonds in My Hair," 26 Oct. 2018 But much of the rally followed a familiar pattern of Trump rattling off a list of accomplishments and urging voters to keep the Senate in GOP hands this November. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump avoids mention of Cohen, Manafort at West Virginia rally," 21 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rooms are unfussy, lots of white and gray, but with pops of emerald green or cobalt blue, brass fixtures, as well custom wallpaper patterned with native plants and botanical prints from the great Pacific Northwest artist Imogen Cunningham. Rebecca Misner, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Portland, OR, in January 2019," 20 Dec. 2018 Head to Yoox for Sozzani’s own garments—colorfully patterned dressed by Marni, lavishly embroidered Valentino coats, and more. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The Late Franca Sozzani Continues to Be Celebrated With a New Book and a Charitable Auction," 12 Feb. 2019 Buy Now Pierre Louis Mascia patterned T-shirt Pierre Louis Mascia is a brand that elevates everyday silhouettes into truly special pieces and this fine mixed print tee is a perfect case in point. The Editors Of Gq, GQ, "Where To Buy Everything in the April Issue of GQ," 20 Mar. 2018 My friend and coworker, Shannon Galati, patterned the design so the godets of the cape would match the godets of my dress, perfectly covering and balancing the train. Allix Cott, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Sleek Cape in the Desert: What Happens When a Bridal Designer Weds," 26 Apr. 2017 Dubbed 'Modern Voyage,' the collection will be overseen by Lands' End, and will be all about sharp tailoring, patterned shirts and scarves, and, unsurprisingly, comfort. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Stylish Flight Attendant Uniforms," 15 Oct. 2018 And the kicks were just as good: Each of the singers wore a unique pair, from patterned high-tops to yellow-laced athletic sneakers. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "BTS Wore Coordinated Printed Suits on Good Morning America," 26 Sep. 2018 In the revealing outfit, which definitely looks like something Kim Kardashian would wear, Kendall pairs patterned sheer tights with the bodysuit, which has a high neckline, and is also cut high on her hips. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Wears a Skintight Latex Bodysuit and Looks Totally Flawless," 28 July 2018 Getty Images Kate wore a more understated, black and white polka dot patterned dress on Saturday, while Meghan wore a blue and white striped Ralph Lauren shirt and white culottes. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore a Canary Yellow Dolce & Gabbana Dress at Wimbledon with Prince William," 15 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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for pattern

Last Updated

9 Apr 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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