• A piece of cloth, or other suitable material, sewed or otherwise fixed upon a garment to repair or strengthen it, especially upon an old garment to cover a hole.
  • A small piece of anything used to repair damage or a breach; as, a patch on a kettle, a roof, etc.
  • A piece of any size, used to repair something for a temporary period only, or that it is temporary because it is not meant to last long or will be removed as soon as a proper repair can be made, which will happen in the near future.
  • A small, usually contrasting but always somehow different or distinct, part of something else (location, time, size)
  • A small area, a small plot of land or piece of ground.
  • A local region of professional responsibility.
  • A small piece of black silk stuck on the face or neck to heighten beauty by contrast, worn by ladies in the 17th and 18th centuries; an imitation beauty mark.
  • A piece of material used to cover a wound.
  • An adhesive piece of material, impregnated with a drug, which is worn on the skin, the drug being slowly absorbed over a period of time.
  • A cover worn over a damaged eye, an eyepatch.
  • A block on the muzzle of a gun, to do away with the effect of dispart, in sighting.
  • A patch file, a file that describes changes to be made to a computer file or files, usually changes made to a computer program that fix a programming bug.
  • A small piece of material that is manually passed through a gun barrel to clean it.
  • A piece of greased cloth or leather used as wrapping for a rifle ball, to make it fit the bore.
  • A cable connecting two pieces of electrical equipment.
  • A sound setting for a musical synthesizer (originally selected by means of a patch cable).
  • An overlay used to obtain a stronger impression.
  • A paltry fellow; a rogue; a ninny; a fool.


  • To mend by sewing on a piece or pieces of cloth, leather, or the like
  • To mend with pieces; to repair by fastening pieces on.
  • To make out of pieces or patches, like a quilt.
  • To join or unite the pieces of; to patch the skirt.
  • To employ a temporary, removable electronic connection, as one between two components in a communications system.
  • To repair or arrange in a hasty or clumsy manner
  • To make the changes a patch describes; to apply a patch to the files in question. Hence:
  • To connect two pieces of electrical equipment using a cable.


Similar words


  • From Middle English patche, pacche, of uncertain origin. Perhaps an alteration of earlier Middle English placche, from Old English *plæċċ, *pleċċ, from Proto-Germanic *plakjō. For the loss of l compare pat from Middle English platten. Germanic cognates would then include Middle English plecke, dialectal English pleck, West Frisian plak ("place, spot"), Low German Plakk, Plakke, Dutch plek, Dutch plak, Swedish plagg, Faroese plagg.
  • Or, possibly a variant of Old French pieche, dialectal variant of piece. Compare also Old Occitan petaç.
  • Perhaps borrowed from Italian pazzo or paggio; the form influenced by folk etymological association with patch.

Modern English dictionary

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