Main definitions of pat in English

: pat1pat2

pat1

Pronunciation /pat/ /pæt/

transitive verbpats, patting, patted

[with object]
  • 1Touch quickly and gently with the flat of the hand.

    ‘he patted him consolingly on the shoulder’
    with object and complement ‘a nurse washed her all over and patted her dry’
    • ‘I quickly patted down my pockets and, finding nothing, I frantically checked the pavement around me.’
    • ‘If the baby stops breathing, a nurse will stimulate the baby to start breathing by patting him or touching the soles of his feet.’
    • ‘He patted me quickly on the back then scuttled off down the far end of the cat walk.’
    • ‘I got up off the mountainside and patted myself down quickly trying to stay stable.’
    • ‘I sigh in relief, and quickly pat myself down before putting the air vent back on and walking back out.’
    • ‘He patted each pocket a second time and shrugged his shoulders and looked down at his hands.’
    • ‘She gasped, patting all of her pockets and then her collarbone, searching but not finding.’
    • ‘She climbed onto the rock and patted herself dry with one of the blankets.’
    • ‘Jerry, after taking a look at his brother, patted Jasmine consolingly on the hand.’
    • ‘I did so and she pulled an embroidered towel off a metal rack and patted me dry.’
    • ‘Tessa rolls her eyes, and actually has the nerve to pat me consolingly on the shoulder.’
    • ‘They began patting themselves dry and Lydie wrung out her hair with the towel.’
    • ‘‘I know the feeling’ I replied, patting him gently on the back.’
    • ‘‘Breathe, girl, breathe,’ Drew said, patting Kelly gently on the back.’
    • ‘‘Good girl,’ said Ray, winking, patting her none too gently on the head.’
    • ‘‘And I understand why they said that completely,’ Amy said, patting him gently on the shoulder.’
    • ‘‘It's okay, I always thought Winnie was cute’ Ben said gently patting her on the head.’
    • ‘Michael glanced at Liz and set her down, patting her gently.’
    • ‘Buck turned to his horse and patted Gypsy gently.’
    • ‘Looking up at the cave mouth before him, Mega gently patted Rush on the head, as the robot dog moved to stand beside him.’
    tap, slap lightly, clap, dab
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Draw attention to (something) by tapping it gently.
      ‘he patted the bench beside him and I sat down’
      • ‘Josh pats his waist to draw attention to the belt securely surrounding it.’
      • ‘He pointed to a vacant bench and sat down, patting the space beside him to indicate where I should be.’
      • ‘Chloe pulled the bench out from under the piano and sat down, patting the space beside her.’
      • ‘He paused at a bench and dropped down patting the seat next to him.’
      • ‘The doll nodded softly, and stepped out of her exhibit, then sat down upon a bench, and patted the spot next to her.’
      • ‘Rob sat down on the right side of the piano bench and patted the space next to him.’
      • ‘‘Come and sit here, and let's talk about it,’ I said, patting the seat beside me on the couch.’
      • ‘She grins cheerily back until he shrugs and pats the grass beside him.’
      • ‘Michael drew the sheets away and patted the part of the bed beside him, as if telling me to lie there.’
      • ‘‘Come here,’ he repeated, patting the vacant area beside him.’
      • ‘I'm not going to bite you,’ he continued, laughing and patting the bed beside him.’
      • ‘‘Now let's talk,’ he said with a smile, sitting down cross-legged on the cold concrete floor and patting the floor beside him.’
      • ‘‘We need to talk, honey,’ mum said, patting the place beside her.’
      • ‘‘Come on,’ he coaxed, patting the lounge beside him.’
      • ‘‘Maria… sit down, and be quiet,’ her mother said softly, patting the couch beside her.’
      • ‘‘Come sit,’ she beckoned patting the spot beside her as she sank gracefully down by the fireplace.’
      • ‘He had just smiled at me, patting the seat beside him.’
      • ‘‘I should be thanking you,’ he said, scooting over and patting the space beside him.’
      • ‘I saw Nathan sitting on a log, patting the empty space beside him, ‘Saved you a place.’’
      • ‘‘Here, sit next to me,’ Lisa said, sitting on the bed and patting the spot beside her.’
    2. 1.2Mold into shape or put in position with gentle taps.
      ‘she patted down the earth in each pot’
      • ‘Press chocolate in the shape, lightly pat on top to push in every groove of the mould.’
      • ‘Straw had to be cut, trimmed and tied as a shaker for the holy water, stick butter patted into shapes and all the foodstuff bought for the breakfast.’
      • ‘Summer said anxiously, patting her straight blond hair into place and batting her eyes rapidly.’
      • ‘She pats the girl's back and brushes the hair out of her eyes.’
      • ‘I shrugged and sat up, patting down my messy hair.’
      • ‘She glowered after him, patting down her tangled hair.’
      • ‘I looked at Jackson who nodded, patting down his messy hair.’
      • ‘Alice was nervously patting down her hair, and glancing about.’
      • ‘I stopped just in time, patted out my frizzled hair and open the door.’
      • ‘She put on a black Ramones T-shirt and patted down her hair with her hands.’
      • ‘Gabrielle stretched as she got out of the car, trying her best to pat down her unruly hair, but remained unsuccessful.’
      • ‘Wren walked in, wiping his hands on his trousers and trying to pat down his ruffled hair.’
      • ‘Raphael tried to pat down his wild hair before giving a loud sigh and collapsing into bed.’
      • ‘My hands make their way to his head again and I begin to pat down his hair like I was doing before.’
      • ‘Divide the meat into four, roll into balls, then flatten and pat into four thick burger shapes.’
      • ‘The night wind rustled his hair and his hand reflexively went up to pat down the strays.’
      • ‘I patted down my frizzy brown hair, and attempted to find another, better shirt.’
      • ‘I narrowed my eyes and idly patted down my short blond hair that I always kept gelled forward.’
      • ‘He quickly patted everything down, making it as flat as possible, and then he finally unrolled his sleeping bag.’
      • ‘Then gently pat the layers down so they are even, and carefully pour the white sauce mix over the top to fill your dish,.’

noun

  • 1A light stroke with the hand.

    ‘giving him a friendly pat on the arm, she went off to join the others’
    • ‘He gave her a quick kiss and a quick pat on my shoulder before he left, leaving Crystal and I staring across the table at each other.’
    • ‘Desa gave him a friendly pat on the arm, then rejoined her ‘friend’ in the back of the group.’
    • ‘Scotty gives Johnny a friendly pat on the arm before leaving the room.’
    • ‘It was a light pat, but it made me open my eyes and look up at him.’
    • ‘With a quick pat of my ankle I verify that my back-up is still tucked into the slender ankle holster and then pull the door release and step into the quiet parking lot.’
    • ‘Sylvian smiled, ran over to his friend, gave her a hug, and a light pat on the back.’
    • ‘A quick pat of the pockets and a bit of fumbling produced the card.’
    • ‘I saw my pets were paying the price of my hectic schedule by receiving quick pats on their heads, rushed walks, and broken promises of evening playtimes.’
    • ‘He gave the side of the van two quick pats before he moved away.’
    • ‘She regretted not giving quick pats to her favorite horses, whose stalls were on her left and right.’
    • ‘She gave him a quick hug and a pat on the shoulder.’
    • ‘Tori gave my shoulder a light pat, ‘And you've helped me in more ways that anyone else could.’’
    • ‘Carefully standing up, I limped slowly over to Alpete, who snorted and stretched out his delicate velvet nose for a light pat.’
    • ‘The old woman gave her a smile and a quick pat on the back.’
    • ‘Setting down the bandages, she gave the injured beast a quick pat.’
    • ‘She removed her hand only to give him a light pat on the head.’
    • ‘She gave him a quick pat on the shoulder, another surprise; he wasn't a very touchy-feely person.’
    • ‘He brought Pegasus to a halt, and alighted him, tying the reins to a nearby post, and giving the white horse a quick pat.’
    • ‘Kathryn growled under her breath and gave him a light pat on the neck.’
    • ‘Receiving a quick pat on the back by Chris, David continued to walk toward the metal bleachers.’
    tap, light blow, clap, dab
    View synonyms
  • 2A compact mass of soft material.

    ‘ a pat of butter’
    • ‘A pat of butter was melted in the pan, sufficient in quantity to thoroughly lubricate the whole of its surface, and leave a coating of moisture about an eighth of an inch deep over all.’
    • ‘Put a pat of butter on each slice of bread (one slice per person).’
    • ‘We were bought a complimentary plate of various breads to share, with a pat of butter and a little bowl of the most beautiful looking, vibrant orange marmalade.’
    • ‘Fry the golden chanterelles in a pat of butter until some of the moisture is evaporated.’
    • ‘I was just putting a pat of butter in the bottom of a pan for the scrambled eggs, when Alex wanders through to see me.’
    • ‘When the cider is reduced, add a pat of butter and let that melt, then add the apples.’
    • ‘Go out to the sidewalk at noon, spread out the foil, drop a pat of butter on the eggs, position the bacon, then begin fooling around with the spatula.’
    • ‘They also brought a pat of butter and the ‘bread basket’, which was in fact toasted logs of thin baguette, bunched up together in a wide glass.’
    • ‘At each meal, your protein should be the size of a deck of cards, your starchy carbs as big as a small orange and your fats no more than a teaspoon of olive oil or a pat of butter.’
    • ‘Put in the refrigerator and anytime you need a pat of butter just cut it off the ‘log’.’
    • ‘The peas are covered in salted water, cooked until tender, seasoned with a pat of butter and served.’
    • ‘Two slices of toast, a pat of butter and a blob of marmalade were on a side plate accompanied by a glass of ice water.’
    • ‘Despite the gulf of property and manner, country and language, they may have turned to each other for a pat of butter or a bunch of spring flowers.’
    • ‘It looked like a pat of butter caught in the midst of an ocean, with puffy marshmallows snuggling up.’
    • ‘Brunch was often distinguished by an extra pat of butter and a piece of fruit, he said.’
    • ‘Intrigued, we ordered a round and, as advertised, it tasted like someone had dropped a pat of Land O'Lakes into weak Earl Grey.’
    • ‘After rinsing, skip the lotion but put on a pat of baby powder or cornstarch.’
    • ‘Some expertly cooked carrots and green beans (that was me again) tasted even better with the little pat of butter included in the deal.’
    • ‘The woman mumbles thanks, and Jin comes over to me, and hands me a plate of cool nut bread, and a small pat of butter, with a knife to spread it.’
    • ‘Just slather a generous pat of butter onto one of these spicy muffins while it's still warm, and call it dessert.’
    piece, dab, lump, portion, knob, mass, cake, chunk, wedge, hunk, gobbet, ball, curl
    View synonyms

Phrases

    a pat on the back
    • An expression of approval or congratulation.

      ‘they deserve a pat on the back for a job well done’
      • ‘He congratulated me with a pat on the back, a flush spreading across his face.’
      • ‘We hope all those publishers who turned the book down give themselves a pat on the back for yet another job well done.’
      • ‘For finishing first place in a Scottish Hillrally you receive a hearty round of applause and a pat on the back.’
      • ‘Remember, too, that a pat on the back for a job well done can often be appreciated as much as incentives.’
      • ‘We are given a conscientious restoration, a commentary, and a pat on the back, which is enough for me.’
      • ‘So keep these tools in an accessible place nearby for those times when you can use a round of applause or a pat on the back.’
      • ‘Another part of the job he really likes: Giving a deserving kid a pat on the back.’
      • ‘Instead, the party gave itself a pat on the back, expressing pride in its achievements.’
      • ‘Festival Place should give everyone a pat on the back for such a wonderful job they did in order for the evening to run so smoothly.’
      • ‘Cheers to everyone who clicked, you deserve a pat on the back.’
      • ‘He finally made his mark with three runs which brought cheers from the crowd and a pat on the back from Atherton.’
      • ‘But the loons and quines on the Press & Journal deserve a pat on the back.’
      • ‘The two pubs are quite different and York Brewery deserves a pat on the back for daring to be a real ale pub offering chrome and sofas alongside pianos and barrels.’
      • ‘When players recovered from knocks they were more often than not helped to their feet by the opposition, an act sometimes accompanied by a pat on the back.’
      • ‘Those of you who rightly guessed that it comes from Henry VIII, act II, scene IV may give yourselves a pat on the back.’
      • ‘Also give yourself a pat on the back for answers you know you got right, and forgive yourself for those you messed up.’
      • ‘The Road Service certainly deserve a pat on the back for the way they gritted the road through the Village the night that the snow fell.’
      • ‘He has worked a lot with Craig and deserves a pat on the back for bringing him on so well.’
      • ‘Journal readers can give themselves a pat on the back for helping to raise enough money to start rebuilding a village that was washed away by the tsunami.’
      • ‘A blackburn school is one of a handful nationwide to be given a pat on the back for the ninth-year running by a leading skills agency.’
    pat someone on the back
    • Express approval of or admiration for someone.

      ‘she needs her own claque to applaud and pat her on the back’
      • ‘The cars' occupants hooted their approval and patted Chad on the back for his bravery.’
      • ‘It was discussed and approved and we were patted on the back.’
      • ‘And there's just the two of us in the room, as he pats me on the back to congratulate me on my unarguably well-delivered line.’
      • ‘As I'm leaving a man from the audience pats me on the back to congratulate me.’
      • ‘Ellis shouted ‘It worked,’ said Lori approvingly and patting Susan on the back.’
      • ‘‘Well, anyway, I'm glad that Blake could find someone who could make him happy, even for a little while,’ he commented, patting me on the back as he jumped off the bleachers.’
      • ‘I was in such a daze from the previous night the next morning that I didn't even realize that I had been made Person Of The Day until I heard people congratulating me and patting me on the back.’
      • ‘My coach commented while patting me on the back.’
      • ‘Someone handed him a drink as several people crowed around him patting him on the back and congratulating him on the success of the raid.’
      • ‘His friends were milling around him, patting him on the back and congratulating him on a great fight.’
      • ‘He felt a million hands patting him on the back and congratulating him on a job well done.’
      • ‘They seemed nonchalant as they patted Raymond on the back and congratulated him as well.’
      • ‘I patted him on the back with an approving smile.’
      • ‘All of Vix's friends complimented him and patted him on the back.’
      • ‘People he did not recognize patted him on the back and congratulating him on an excessively long keg stand.’
      • ‘As he walked down the tables to pick up a tray and food, everyone patted him on the back and congratulated him.’
      • ‘He is not the sort of person who gives out compliments or pats you on the back, he does it in other ways.’
      • ‘I do feel a need to pat Spetnak on the back for this comment.’
      • ‘I'll never want anyone to pat me on the back and congratulate me on coming third, but I've definitely got life in perspective now.’
      • ‘Although we are in a strong position it is no good patting ourselves on the back in October or November.’

Phrasal Verbs

    pat someone down
    • (of a police officer or security official) pass the hands over someone's clothing in a search for concealed items such as weapons or illegal drugs.

      • ‘The second soldier patted me down roughly, then scrutinized my Harper's press card minutely.’
      • ‘At the reception station, a tall young guard took my photo, scanned my index fingerprints, and patted me down.’
      • ‘They made me take off my boots and patted me down.’
      • ‘He patted me down for a wire.’
      • ‘They came in, patted me down and made me sit in the corner.’
      • ‘"They patted me down and found nothing," Godfrey says.’
      • ‘A female screener patted her down under her armpit and touched her with an open hand between her breasts.’
      • ‘When police officers arrived, a passer-by pointed out where the man had run off to; the officers found him and patted him down.’
      • ‘Then the two airmen led the suspect away to the hood of a patrol car, where they patted him down for weapons and drugs.’
      • ‘John patted him down, but found nothing.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a noun denoting a blow with something flat): probably imitative. The verb dates from the mid 16th century.

Pronunciation

pat

/pat/ /pæt/

Main definitions of pat in English

: pat1pat2

pat2

Pronunciation /pat/ /pæt/

adjective

  • Simple and somewhat glib or unconvincing.

    ‘instead of enlightened minds I found prejudice and pat answers’
    • ‘All you have are pat answers and glib retorts that turn out, on ten seconds' worth of thought, to be mindless platitudes.’
    • ‘There are no glib, pat answers that will provide comfort to people of faith in the face of such an overwhelming, needless tragedy, says Christian.’
    • ‘The reason this makes me want to wash my hands of humanity forever, even though I'm sure the person that says it means no harm by spouting this kind of pat answer.’
    • ‘First, those who have either been conditioned out of thinking about such questions or else have glibly assimilated pat religious answers lead impoverished lives.’
    • ‘Over the years, I've come up with a pat answer for when this happens.’
    • ‘I'm not sure that I can give a pat answer to that, or that any of us should give a pat answer as a description for any component of our lives.’
    • ‘When they send back the usual pat answers, tell them it's still not good enough, and ask again for their plans to release the children by any date.’
    • ‘The pat answer is that, recognising that they are both Swedish, he thought they might like to mutter sweet nothings to each other in their mother tongue.’
    • ‘I thought his little set, pat answers generally didn't work as well tonight.’
    • ‘I believe that there are some moral situations that do not have a straightforward answer and I don't have a pat answer for this or any other moral issue.’
    • ‘That's the normal life of folks at Catholic Answers, not the endless dispensation of pat answers.’
    • ‘And so he would probably give his pat answer which is, you know pour me something tall and strong.’
    • ‘It was clear that by that time they had gotten a few calls on the matter, and had a pat answer.’
    • ‘I just hug him and try not to give him the pat answer of this is life and everyone dies.’
    • ‘Hers is a book for mature people who do not expect pat answers, who are willing to be disturbed by arguments instead of having their prejudices satisfied.’
    • ‘It's also possible that, if a man does a lot of dating, he might have a pat answer that he gives out casually, but have all kinds of issues that might surface later.’
    • ‘There are some very pat answers available on the FDA's website.’
    • ‘We don't give stock answers or pat replies to their questions and many players actually know our support staff by name!’
    • ‘She doesn't come up with pat answers: Her character is as confused as the rest of who contain multitudes.’
    • ‘You may have a pat answer to this one, because it's asked all the time: Why are the Rules of Golf so complicated?’
    glib, simple, simplistic, facile, slick, smooth, unconvincing, perfunctory
    View synonyms

adverb

  • At exactly the right moment or in the right way; conveniently or opportunely.

    ‘the happy ending came rather pat’
    opportunely, conveniently, advantageously, at exactly the right moment, at just the right moment, expediently
    View synonyms

Phrases

    have something down pat
    • Have something memorized perfectly.

      ‘she had the baby's medical routine down pat’
    stand pat
    • 1Stick stubbornly to one's opinion or decision.

      ‘many ranchers stood pat with the old strains of cattle’
      • ‘The decision to stand pat highlights the lack of coordination between the BOJ and the government to pull the world's second-biggest economy out of recession.’
      • ‘Arizona, with a payroll already stretching the club's resources to a budget-busting level, opted to stand pat, which is not a bad decision.’
      • ‘The Bruins opted to stand pat on their coach and shuffle players like so many playing cards.’
      • ‘Last spring, they stood pat at the March trading deadline with a lineup that finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference - and then were dumped unceremoniously in the first round of the playoffs by the bankrupt Penguins.’
      • ‘Obviously no one will ever know whether or not the White Sox, if they had stood pat, would have caught the Indians, who went on to win the division title and the A.L. pennant before losing the World Series to the Florida Marlins.’
      • ‘Baltimore stood pat in free agency, not signing a free agent other than those on their own roster.’
      • ‘While other food companies in recent years have scrambled to slash costs, Nestlé has stood pat, insisting that robust sales growth was its top priority.’
      • ‘Bears They stood pat on defense but revamped their offense - especially if you include the return of injured quarterback.’
      • ‘They screamed during the offseason for free-agent signings and other roster improvements while Reid largely stood pat.’
      • ‘Two AFC South stalwarts that stood pat this offseason in the free-agent department figure to let it all hang out as they always do.’
      • ‘And the Senators pretty much stood pat with the powerhouse team of last season that came so close to the Stanley Cup finals.’
      • ‘In short, North Korea stands pat on its position that the whole issue has been ‘resolved.’’
      • ‘The dollar's drag could worsen if central banks in the U.S. and euro zone cut rates while the BOC stands pat.’
      • ‘Depending on your viewpoint, the acquisitions boom can be taken as a positive demonstration that the industry is not standing pat as it doubles e-media bets already in place on fast-growing newspaper online operations.’
      • ‘Tibco Software hasn't gotten to where it is - at the top of the heap of vendors of enterprise application integration software - by standing pat.’
      • ‘Problems like these, the CENTURY concluded, would not be solved ‘by standing pat on the traditions under which the present absurd inequities have grown up’.’
      • ‘IBM, along with Intel Corp., is one of the few standing pat.’
      • ‘The Titans also chose to go heavy on defense, standing pat on offense.’
      • ‘The Seahawks are standing pat on offense and turning over five positions on defense.’
      • ‘The most likely scenario is for the team to stand pat with its top pick, or perhaps slide back a few spots as it did in 2001.’
      • ‘With baseball's best record, the Cardinals elected to stand pat at the trade deadline.’
      • ‘With their own costs still growing at 7.5%, however, employers can't afford to stand pat.’
      1. 1.1(in poker and blackjack) retain one's hand as dealt, without drawing other cards.
        • ‘The Capraesque ‘normal’ person stands pat with his neighborhood investment club while the financiers of Manhattan, driven by imaginary fears and wild superstitions, panic and flee.’
        • ‘Eleven of his 14 picks are in the final four rounds, so it's unlikely Wolf will be able to move up more than a position or two in the first round - so he'll likely stand pat at the 14th pick and take the best defensive end.’
        • ‘Likewise, if your No.2 wideout is set to face tough defenses in three consecutive weeks, don't stand pat and take that kind of scoring hit.’

Origin

Late 16th century related to pat; apparently originally symbolic: a frequently found early use was hit pat (i.e. hit as if with flat blow).

Pronunciation

pat

/pat/ /pæt/