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

Other Words from pattern

Noun

patterned \ ˈpa-​tərnd How to pronounce pattern (audio) \ adjective
patternless adjective

Synonyms for pattern

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pattern of Conservatives doing better in postindustrial towns in the north of England and Labour doing better in major cities held. Amanda Ferguson And Karla Adam, Anchorage Daily News, 6 May 2022 Look for the warm pattern to hang around for at least a few days, potentially, Collar added. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2022 Pin the thin manila paper on to the cloth, as the pattern’s instructions say. Faith Bottum, WSJ, 5 May 2022 The polka dot pattern adds a touch of whimsy to eight different color options, or go with a classic black or white. Rena Behar, Travel + Leisure, 5 May 2022 The last of the supermajors to report first-quarter results, Shell followed the overall pattern set by its peers. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 This pattern of earlier wildfire starts and longer wildfire seasons is something that experts from agencies like NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency have been documenting — and tying to climate change — for years. Joan Meiners, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2022 The pattern continues with more severe storms in Kentucky and Ohio on Tuesday. Judson Jones, CNN, 2 May 2022 The cool tropical pattern stands out without being too flashy, and the convenient elastic band makes sure nothing goes awry. Thomas Hindle, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Defenders including Tony Allen, Shane Battier, Bruce Bowen, Michael Cooper and Derek Harper would become guys that young players might pattern themselves after. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 4 Feb. 2022 Focus on the only number that VCs can pattern match off, which is revenue growth. Diana Tsai, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 The most effective way to kill a giant whitetail is to pattern him on trail camera and hunt him to the exclusion of all others. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, 5 Jan. 2021 Cox explained that this partnership unfolded as the state tried to pattern its handling of the pandemic after South Korea’s example. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Sep. 2020 When scouting, remember that the goal is not to bump and push hogs out of an area, but simply to pattern their movements in order to formulate a hunting strategy. Mike Dickerson, Outdoor Life, 4 Aug. 2020 The community is now a destination for art lovers and people wanting to learn to make the exquisite, colorfully patterned quilts. Kelly Kazek | Kkazek@al.com, al, 1 June 2020 Maisonette has brightly printed and patterned cotton face masks in small, medium and large sizes. oregonlive, 15 May 2020 Her inspiration: the signature patterned silk scarves that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, showcases in the near-daily press conferences led by the president. Rory Satran, WSJ, 24 Apr. 2020 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Redecorate with peel and stick wallpaper selected by our Reviews team.

Learn More About pattern

Time Traveler for pattern

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near pattern

patteran

pattern

pattern bargaining

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pattern

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pattern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pattern. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for pattern

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pattern

Nglish: Translation of pattern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pattern for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!