pattern

1 of 2

noun

pat·​tern ˈpa-tərn How to pronounce pattern (audio)
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)
6
a
: 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
8
a
: 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
9
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
patterned adjective
patternless adjective

pattern

2 of 2

verb

patterned; patterning; patterns

transitive verb

1
dialectal, chiefly England
a
: match
b
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
Choose the Right Synonym for pattern

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Among the versatile mix of pieces are items in vivid hues like eye-catching pinks, blues, yellows, and floral patterns. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 29 May 2024 The trampoline-like performance of the company is becoming something of a pattern as retail investors battle short sellers over the meme stock. Chris Morris, Fortune, 28 May 2024
Verb
In an interview with NPR last week, OpenAI chief technology officer Mira Murati said the company did not pattern any ChatGPT voices on Johansson's sultry computer voice in the movie. Bobby Allyn, NPR, 20 May 2024 Like some of the other cheesecake ideas in this collection, it's patterned after a popular childhood treat. Wini Moranville, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for pattern 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pattern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English patron, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin patronus

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pattern was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pattern

Cite this Entry

“Pattern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pattern. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

pattern

1 of 2 noun
pat·​tern ˈpat-ərn How to pronounce pattern (audio)
1
: something worth imitating or using as a guide
2
: a model or guide for making something
a dress pattern
3
: an artistic form, figure, or design
chintz with a small pattern
4
: a set of characteristics that are displayed repeatedly
behavior patterns
patterned
-ərnd
adjective

pattern

2 of 2 verb
: to make or design by following a pattern
Etymology

Noun

Middle English patron "pattern," from early French patron (same meaning), from Latin patronus "patron, patron saint," from earlier patronus "defender, protector," from patr-, pater "father" — related to padre, paternal, patron

Medical Definition

pattern

noun
pat·​tern ˈpat-ərn How to pronounce pattern (audio)
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

Legal Definition

pattern

noun
pat·​tern ˈpa-tərn How to pronounce pattern (audio)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on pattern

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