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

For example, the hip hinge movement is one important movement pattern. Amy Marturana, SELF, "8 Strength Exercises All Beginners Should Learn How to Do," 2 May 2019 The Panther can first be spotted in a Cartier wristwatch from 1914, when its signature pattern appeared in diamond and ebony. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "How the Cartier Panther Became a Jewelry Icon," 20 Mar. 2019 Unfortunately for us, a disruption like that can cause major changes to our normal weather patterns. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "A Polar Vortex Split Is Bringing Snow and Brutal Winter Weather to Much of the U.S.," 16 Jan. 2019 The system assigns a score to Supreme Court justices based on their voting patterns; for federal appeals court judges, like Kavanaugh, scores are based on the ideologies of the presidents and senators who nominated them. Saurabh Datar, BostonGlobe.com, "How Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation could affect Roe v. Wade," 11 July 2018 The temporary storefront is an immersive floor-to-ceiling experience of floral-pattern silk wallpapers, embroideries, and porcelain arrangements, which often draw on the brand’s signature prints. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "The Most Mesmerizing Design Moments of Salone del Mobile," 18 Apr. 2019 One of the biggest mysteries on Game of Thrones right now is the Weirwood Tree symbol, that spiral pattern little Ned Umber was propped up on, which keeps appearing everywhere. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "This Theory Suggests Game of Thrones Already Revealed How to Kill the Night King," 18 Apr. 2019 Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur in one area over short periods of time, while climate refers to the long-term regional or even global average of things like temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About the Climate Change March," 14 Mar. 2019 Revolutions often follow a pattern: Noble aspirations give way to conflict. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Revolutionary’ Review: The Real Revolution," 29 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The right to life and security is not transactional in a just, compassionate society, especially one patterned after biblical, Christian principles. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "Daughters of Confederacy lose court fight to block Caddo monument removal: report," 26 Jan. 2018 The kippas were of all varieties — silky and knitted, leathery, embroidered and patterned. Kirsten Grieshaber, BostonGlobe.com, "Germans don skullcaps to protest anti-Semitism," 25 Apr. 2018 Her bright, striped, or patterned designs are often paired with quirky coasters and placemats featuring exotic animals and palm trees. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "50+ Secret Things to Do in Italy," 6 Feb. 2018 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

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

7 May 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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