pat·​tern·​ing | \ ˈpa-tər-niŋ How to pronounce patterning (audio) \

Definition of patterning

1 : decoration, composition, or configuration according to a pattern
2 : physical therapy especially for neurological impairment based on a theory holding that repeated manipulation of body parts to simulate normal motor developmental activity (such as crawling or walking) promotes neurological development or repair

Examples of patterning in a Sentence

The wallpaper is decorated with floral patterning.
Recent Examples on the Web The paintings’ backgrounds feature hard-edge, bright-colored patterning, punctuated by looser gestures and occasional text. Washington Post, "In the galleries: A towering exhibit offers a new definition of domestic life," 1 Jan. 2021 On the screen dawn coming over the Eastern Ocean shone in a golden crescent for a moment against the dust of stars, like a jewel on a great patterning frame. Tom Comitta, Wired, "Loose Ends: A Literary Supercut of Sci-Fi Last Sentences," 22 Sep. 2020 Egg color and patterning may provide camouflage in an open environment; nests in the open would indicate that Deinonychus brooded its offspring. National Geographic, "DINOSAURS," 15 Sep. 2020 This research has only just started to demonstrate that, through composition, great musicians translate some of the patterning of our minds into the orderliness of music. Karmela Padavic-callaghan, Scientific American, "Time’s Arrow Flies through 500 Years of Classical Music, Physicists Say," 19 Aug. 2020 Neuroscientists know that the specific contents of a sensory experience have to do with the timing and/or spatial patterning of brain activity. Jason Castro, Scientific American, "Cracking the Neural Code with Phantom Smells," 11 Aug. 2020 With this patterning comes a peculiar hierarchy of values. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "A Novel Way to Think About Literary Categories," 25 May 2020 Given equal patterning efficiency, the higher pellet count in a 12 gauge should keep a denser pattern at longer ranges. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "Shotgun Showdown: 12 Gauge vs. 20 Gauge vs. 28 Gauge," 11 Dec. 2019 Evidence of patterning indicates that the color of the feathers might have been used for camouflage or communication, while the very dark feathers may have been used to help insulate the dinosaurs during cold winters. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patterning.' 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 patterning

1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for patterning

Time Traveler

The first known use of patterning was in 1860

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Statistics for patterning

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Patterning.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for patterning


How to pronounce patterning (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of patterning

: the designs or patterns that appear on something



Medical Definition of patterning

: physical therapy especially for neurological impairment based on a theory holding that repeated manipulation of body parts to simulate normal motor developmental activity (as crawling or walking) promotes neurological development or repair

More from Merriam-Webster on patterning

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for patterning

Nglish: Translation of patterning for Spanish Speakers

Comments on patterning

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