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

The changing voter patterns in Orange County are similar to those that have occurred in places like Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia and Fairfax County in northern Virginia. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, "Orange County, longtime GOP stronghold, now has more registered Democrats than Republicans," 7 Aug. 2019 The shootings followed much of the tragic, familiar pattern: Outpouring of grief for the victims, a search for a reason. María Cortés González, azcentral, "'This Anglo man came here to kill Hispanics': Will race motivate more violence?," 5 Aug. 2019 The drive-by shooting followed what has become a familiar pattern in Chicago, where more people are fatally shot than in any other city in the U.S. CBS News, "2 Chicago mothers working to stop gun violence shot dead," 31 July 2019 But companies such as Wolfram Research, which makes Mathematica, are trying to democratize the field, so scientists without AI skills can harness the technology for recognizing patterns in big data. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "No coding required: Companies make it easier than ever for scientists to use artificial intelligence," 31 July 2019 Princeton sociologist Sara McLanahan has found a similar pattern in Europe. Joel Kotkin, National Review, "The Return to Serfdom," 25 July 2019 Deep TabNine, by comparison, relies on the ability of machine learning to find statistical patterns in data to make its predictions. James Vincent, The Verge, "This AI-powered autocompletion software is Gmail’s Smart Compose for coders," 24 July 2019 The report said the lack of diversity on nearly all state supreme courts may be due in part to similar patterns in leadership positions in the legal profession. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "White men hold most state supreme court seats, with California as notable exception, report says," 23 July 2019 Machine learning systems are better than humans at finding complex and subtle patterns in very large data sets. Gabriel A. Silva, The Conversation, "Neuroscience and artificial intelligence can help improve each other," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Miami Spice was born during the tourism lull the year after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and patterned after a popular New York City dining promotion. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Trouble sorting out 250 Miami Spice options? Try these 9 restaurants," 1 Aug. 2019 The caps were patterned after Starlin Castro and other Cubs who wore buckets on their heads during 2015 postgame celebrations. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "From Nacho Man to Mai Tai Guy to Ronnie Woo: Paul Sullivan’s rankings of the best baseball fan stories," 20 July 2019 During his final season with the Lakers, Russell ran a motion offense that then-head coach Luke Walton — a former Warriors assistant — patterned after Kerr’s. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "D’Angelo Russell, on the move to Golden State, says he’s an NBA realist," 8 July 2019 The garden now has a 13,000-pound granite fountain patterned after the famous fountain outside St. Patrick Cathedral in Dublin. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com, "Senate confirms Ohio’s Ed Crawford as U.S. ambassador to Ireland," 13 June 2019 The pilot is patterned after a San Diego program, which as The Seattle Times reported in May, is more efficient and cost-effective than the city’s own faltering safe parking lot effort. Vernal Coleman, The Seattle Times, "Durkan adds shelter, homeless outreach and support for vehicle campers in Seattle budget," 24 Sep. 2018 The women, who seemed a few years younger than the men, were also expensively dressed, many in silky, boldly patterned bell-bottom trouser suits. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "East Eighty-eighth Street and East End Avenue," 25 May 2018 Kaliyev, who turns 18 on Wednesday, patterns his game after Rick Nash. Curtis Zupke, latimes.com, "Kings get a scorer, Ducks defensive help during second day of NHL draft," 22 June 2019 Unfortunately, the rest of us don't quite have an invitation to share in the Kardashian-Jenner closet of dreams, but brands including ASOS, Forever 21, and Nordstrom have cow patterned options for every budget. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Khloé Kardashian Wore a Cow Print Swimsuit Similar to One Worn by Kylie Jenner," 19 May 2019

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

13 Aug 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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