from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small piece of material affixed to another, larger piece to conceal, reinforce, or repair a worn area, hole, or tear.
  • noun A small piece of cloth used for patchwork.
  • noun A small cloth badge affixed to a garment as a decoration or an insignia, as of a military unit.
  • noun A dressing or covering applied to protect a wound or sore.
  • noun A pad or shield of cloth worn over an eye socket or an injured eye.
  • noun A transdermal patch.
  • noun A small piece, part, or section, especially that which differs from or contrasts with the whole.
  • noun A small plot or piece of land, especially one that produces or is used for growing specific vegetation.
  • noun An indefinite period of time; a spell.
  • noun A temporary, removable electronic connection, as one between two components in a communications system.
  • noun Computers A piece of code added to software in order to fix a bug, especially as a temporary correction between two releases.
  • intransitive verb To put a patch or patches on.
  • intransitive verb To make by sewing scraps of material together.
  • intransitive verb To mend, repair, or put together, especially hastily, clumsily, or poorly.
  • intransitive verb To connect temporarily (electronic components), as with a patch cord.
  • intransitive verb Computers To correct a bug in (an item of software), especially as a temporary correction between releases.
  • intransitive verb Electronics To be connected temporarily.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A piece of court-plaster used to protect a small wound.
  • noun A piece of cloth, or the like, sewed on a coat or gown as a badge or ornament. In the extract it refers to the band on the cap.
  • noun A piece of stiffened cloth, or the like, or a pad, worn over an eye, to protect it.
  • noun Any piece of material used to repair a defective place in some fabric or construction, as a piece of cloth sewed on a garment where it is torn or worn, a bit of masonry, mosaic, tiling, or the like, used to repair a defect in old work, or a sod or sods employed to make good an injured spot in a lawn.
  • noun A piece of cloth cut into some regular shape, to be sewed with others into patchwork.
  • noun A small piece of silk or court-plaster used on the face, with the apparent purpose of heightening the complexion by contrast.
  • noun A small piece of leather, greased canvas, pasteboard, or the like, used as the wadding for a rifle-ball.
  • noun A small square of thick leather sometimes used in the grinding of small tools to press the work on the stone, in order to protect the fingers from abrasion.
  • noun A block fixed on the muzzle of a gun to make the line of sight parallel with the axis of the bore.
  • noun A small piece of ground, especially one under cultivation; a small detached piece; a plot; a comparatively small piece or expanse of anything, as of snow, grass, etc.
  • noun A paltry fellow; a ninny; a fool. The professional fool was formerly so called.
  • noun A harlequin.
  • noun In zoology, a small, well-defined part of a surface characterized by peculiar color or appearance.
  • noun An overlay put on the impression-surface of a printing-press, to get stronger impression on the type covered by the patch, and make a clearer print.
  • Arranged in patches, or separate squares, or the like.
  • To mend by adding a patch: often with up.
  • Especially— To sew a piece of cloth upon (a garment) where it is torn or worn out.
  • To repair (masonry) by filling interstices and fractures with new mortar or the like.
  • To substitute new work for, as for defaced or partly destroyed work in mosaic or inlaying.
  • To serve as a patch on.
  • To adorn by putting a patch or patches on the face; also, to adorn with patches, as the face.
  • To form of odd pieces or shreds; construct of ill-assorted parts or elements; hence, to make or mend hastily or without regard to forms: usually with up: as, to patch up a peace; to patch up a quarrel.
  • To fit or adjust with a patch or wad of leather, etc.: said of a rifle-ball.
  • To form patches, as snow on a mountain-side, vegetation on a ruin, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To mend by sewing on a piece or pieces of cloth, leather, or the like.
  • transitive verb To mend with pieces; to repair with pieces festened on; to repair clumsily.
  • transitive verb To adorn, as the face, with a patch or patches.
  • transitive verb To make of pieces or patches; to repair as with patches; to arrange in a hasty or clumsy manner; -- generally with up.
  • noun A piece of cloth, or other suitable material, sewed or otherwise fixed upon a garment to repair or strengthen it, esp. upon an old garment to cover a hole.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English pacche, perhaps alteration of pece, pecche, piece; see piece.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English pacche, of uncertain origin.


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