pat

noun
\ ˈpat How to pronounce pat (audio) \

Definition of pat

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1 : a light blow especially with the hand or a flat instrument
2 : a light tapping often rhythmical sound
3 : something (such as butter) shaped into a small flat usually square individual portion
pat on the back
: an expression of approval

pat

adverb

Definition of pat (Entry 2 of 6)

: in a pat manner : aptly, perfectly has her part down pat

pat

verb
patted; patting

Definition of pat (Entry 3 of 6)

transitive verb

1 : to strike lightly with a flat instrument
2 : to flatten, smooth, or put into place or shape with light blows
3 : to tap or stroke gently with the hand to soothe, caress, or show approval

intransitive verb

: to strike or beat gently

pat

adjective

Definition of pat (Entry 4 of 6)

1a : exactly suited to the purpose or occasion : apt
b : suspiciously appropriate : contrived a pat ending
2 : learned, mastered, or memorized exactly
4 : reduced to a simple or mechanical form : standard, trite pat answers

Definition of pat (Entry 5 of 6)

patent

Definition of PAT (Entry 6 of 6)

point after touchdown

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Examples of pat in a Sentence

Noun She gave the dog a quick pat. Adverb after months of practicing for the competition, the cheerleaders have their moves down pat Verb The child gently patted the dog's head. He patted my knee and told me everything would be fine. He patted his hair down. She patted the dough into a square. He patted the lettuce dry with a paper towel. Adjective The movie's pat ending was a disappointment. His explanation was too pat to be believable.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sharpton is the imperfect messenger forever on-call for families whose search for justice — or simply the truth — is often met with jargon, dead ends and a verbal pat on the head from a legal bureaucracy that tells them to be both patient and calm. Washington Post, "The space filled by Al Sharpton’s prayers and politics," 4 May 2021 Pour the lamb broth over the rice and pat firmly again to ensure the rice is completely covered. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "How to make maqluba, a centuries-old dish, like this Palestinian family does in Phoenix," 26 Apr. 2021 Rudy Gobert gave him both a low-five and a pat on the butt. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah Jazz return home, work out some kinks in annihilation of short-handed Brooklyn Nets," 24 Mar. 2021 When asked about potential fan outrage to the Celtics standing pat at the deadline, Ainge pushed back. Khari Thompson, BostonGlobe.com, "Danny Ainge says Celtics will ‘most likely’ use trade exception in offseason," 11 Mar. 2021 The men’s champion got a payout while the women’s winner got a pat on the head. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Sedona Prince has left her mark on NCAA Tournament, women's sports," 30 Mar. 2021 Then Ohtani walked off the mound, getting a pat on the back from catcher Kurt Suzuki before disappearing down the dugout tunnel. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Shohei Ohtani’s spring training ends on tough note with blister injury, rough outing," 29 Mar. 2021 All in exchange for food and lodging — and an occasional pat on the head. Star Tribune, "Poland plans pensions for dogs, horses in state employment," 27 Mar. 2021 With the virus behind him and the trade deadline passing with Phoenix staying pat with its roster, Johnson and the Suns can move forward with the second half of the season. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Suns: New-look Cam Johnson happy to return after bout with COVID-19," 26 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The 2016 draft was the last time the Bengals stayed pat through all seven rounds. Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bengals going through 'last-minute preparations' as NFL Draft approaches," 21 Apr. 2020 To use, soak the disc about 15 minutes, pat dry, and snap in place. Jean Kressy, BostonGlobe.com, "Brown sugar should stay soft. This canister can help," 2 Sep. 2019 Drain onions, pat dry, and add to tomatoes along with the parsley, dill, and mint. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Three refreshing salads to beat the heat," 17 July 2019 When the grill is nice and hot, pat dry the scallops with a paper towel. Multiple Authors, House Beautiful, "The Sea Grill's Grilled Day Boat Sea Scallops," 1 May 2010 Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water to cool; pat dry. Bon Appetit, "Miso-Tahini Noodles with Asparagus and Tofu," 14 May 2018 Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Fox News, "Chef Mark Bailey's Last-Minute Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner!," 14 Feb. 2018 The use of police pat-downs declined as a result starting in late 2015, according to Cassell and Fowles. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Jeff Sessions’s claim that an ACLU settlement with Chicago caused murders to spike," 14 May 2018 The use of police pat-downs declined as a result starting in late 2015, according to Cassell and Fowles. Salvador Rizzo, chicagotribune.com, "Jeff Sessions' claim that an ACLU settlement with Chicago caused murders to spike," 14 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a colander, drain and pat the vegetables dry. Katie Workman, Washington Post, "Make a spring Cobb salad the centerpiece of a festive and thrifty Easter brunch," 29 Mar. 2021 But the whole auspice here is not to pat ourselves on the back. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "Laying out data, Netflix touts its record on inclusivity," 26 Feb. 2021 Arcadio remembers seeing his great-grandmother slowly grind corn with two stones, then pat the masa into tortillas one by one with only her hands. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Smoky, savory cochinita pibil rises from a Bay Area backyard pit," 5 Apr. 2021 Continue filling the hole and gently pat the soil down over the root zone to slightly compact it. Patricia S York, Southern Living, "How To Plant a Rose Bush," 25 Mar. 2021 No brushes are needed — Harper uses just two fingers to pat in the shadows. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Victoria Beckham's Nine-Year-Old Daughter Gave Her Shimmery Eye Makeup," 23 Mar. 2021 Lipa is also a recent Grammy winner for best new artist who's made good on her potential, and academy members never miss a chance to pat themselves on the back. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Grammy predictions 2021: Who will and should win this year's biggest awards?," 9 Mar. 2021 Place the beef on a baking sheet and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Ina Garten shares recipes and tips for a memorable holiday micro-meal, cocktail included," 22 Dec. 2020 To deter them, firmly pat the soil over bulbs and cover with bird netting or chicken wire secured with rocks. Marty Ross, Better Homes & Gardens, "9 Miniature Flowering Bulbs That Add a Splash of Welcome Color in Early Spring," 20 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Don’t let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Washington Post, "In 1923, Washington women formed the Anti-Flirt Club," 19 Apr. 2021 Several teams pursued Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry ahead of the trade deadline, but the Raptors ultimately stood pat and kept him. Bryan Toporek, Forbes, "Jrue Holiday’s Extension Further Depletes Heralded 2021 NBA Free-Agent Class," 6 Apr. 2021 Critics have nicked it as too pat, too out-of-nowhere, and too condemnatory of individuals over institutions. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "It’s a Sin and the Ritual of AIDS Fiction," 11 Mar. 2021 The complaint was written in a letter from attorney Bobbi Sternheim to a Manhattan federal judge, alleging the abuse occurred at the Metropolitan Detention Center while Maxwell, 59, was undergoing a pat-down search at her isolation cell. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "Ghislaine Maxwell alleges abuse by guard in federal jail," 17 Feb. 2021 The Indianapolis Colts stood pat among a frenzied first day of NFL free agency. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "NFL Free Agency Day 1 Diary: Colts make inquiries but stay quiet," 15 Mar. 2021 Founded in Germany in 1897 by a British ex-pat, the brand’s lightweight vulcanized fiberboard was a technical breakthrough. Kareem Rashed, Robb Report, "How This Legendary Luggage Brand Thrived During a Year With No Travel," 3 Mar. 2021 The 200-pound fiberglass replica was made in Mexico by an American ex-pat, according to Politico. Quinn Scanlan And Meredith Deliso, ABC News, "CPAC speakers tout Trump, spread debunked election claims," 27 Feb. 2021 Smith, now comfortable in his own skin, didn’t offer a pat answer. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "For Alex Smith, struggles with 49ers created life-transforming changes," 10 Dec. 2020

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1578, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1533, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pat

Noun

Middle English patte, probably of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for pat

Time Traveler

The first known use of pat was in the 15th century

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Statistics for pat

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pat. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pat

pat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pat

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: an act of lightly touching someone or something with your hand to show affection or approval
: a small, flat, usually square piece of something (such as butter)

pat

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of pat (Entry 2 of 4)

: learned completely or perfectly

pat

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pat (Entry 3 of 4)

: to lightly touch (someone or something) with your hand usually several times in order to show affection or approval or to provide comfort
: to flatten, smooth, or shape (something) by lightly pressing on it with your hand
: to lightly press (something) several times until it is dry

pat

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pat (Entry 4 of 4)

disapproving : said or done without any real thought or effort to be truthful or original

pat

verb
\ ˈpat How to pronounce pat (audio) \
patted; patting

Kids Definition of pat

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: to tap or stroke gently with the open hand He stopped to pat the dog.

pat

noun

Kids Definition of pat (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a light tap with the open hand or a flat instrument She gave me a pat on the head.
2 : the sound of a pat or tap
3 : a small flat piece (as of butter)

pat

adjective
patter; pattest

Kids Definition of pat (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : learned perfectly I had my lines in the play down pat.
2 : exactly suitable a pat answer
3 : not changing He stood pat against all arguments.

Kids Definition of pat.

patent

Medical Definition of PAT

paroxysmal atrial tachycardia

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Comments on pat

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