pat·tern·ing | \ˈpa-tər-niŋ \

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

Libra energy slices through the muck of feelings to elevate our perspective and aerate past patterning. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes July 16-22," 13 July 2018 Although one naturally responds to such an approach in terms of decorative patterning, these drawings do not go out of their way to look pretty. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Connecting the dots in Goldberg's variations," 13 July 2018 Composer Julia Wolfe’s sonically challenging score is tempered by Varone’s marvelous patterning for the two men. Lauren Warnecke,, "In rare performance, choreographer Doug Varone takes to stage along with his dancers at Columbia," 9 Feb. 2018 Beni Ourain are easily known by their classic patterning and regional palette of simple diamonds. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "How to Buy, and Style, a Vintage Moroccan Rug," 22 June 2018 In 2015, Levin, his postdoc Vaibhav Pai, and other collaborators showed experimentally that bioelectric signals from the body shape the development and patterning of the brain in its earliest stages. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Brainless Embryos Suggest Bioelectricity Guides Growth," 18 Mar. 2018 That first purse, the nylon paper planner, the jacket, and a massive black tote bag with checkered patterning inside. Caroline Rothstein, Marie Claire, "How Kate Spade Got Me Through My Mental Health Struggles," 6 June 2018 In the Annunciation patterning also spreads across the floor: Mary and the annunciate angel are precious gems — a ruby, a sapphire — in a celestial jewel box. New York Times, "Review: Art for the Soul in ‘Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth’," 16 May 2018 Each time, the patterning machines must line up precisely with the last go-around. Mike Rogoway,, "Intel hits a wall on Moore's Law; growth in computing power finally slows," 3 May 2018

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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Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for patterning

The first known use of patterning was in 1860

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More Definitions for patterning



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

Nglish: Translation of patterning for Spanish Speakers

Comments on patterning

What made you want to look up patterning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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