• The sound of a light slap or tap with a soft flat object, especially of a footstep
  • A light tap or slap, especially with the hands
  • A flattish lump of soft matter, especially butter or dung.
  • Patent.
  • Pattern.


  • To (gently) tap the flat of one's hand on a person or thing.
  • To hit lightly and repeatedly with the flat of the hand to make smooth or flat
  • To stroke or fondle (an animal).
  • To gently rain.




  • From Middle English *patten, alteration (with loss of medial l) of platten, pletten, from Old English plættan, from Proto-Germanic *plat-, from Proto-Indo-European *blod-, *bled-. Cognate with Middle Dutch platten, pletten, German platzen, Bavarian patzen, Swedish plätta, pjätta. For loss of l, compare patch for platch; pate for plate, etc. See plat.
  • Abbreviation.

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