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

  • n. The human head, especially the top of the head: a bald pate.
  • n. The mind or brain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The head, particularly the top or crown.
  • n. Wit, cleverness, cognitive abilities.
  • n. Alternative spelling of pâté. (finely-ground paste of meat, fish, etc.)
  • n. The interior body, or non-rind portion of cheese, described by its texture, density, and color.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The head of a person; the top, or crown, of the head.
  • n. The skin of a calf's head.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Weak and sickly.
  • n. The crown or top of the head, whether of a person or of an animal; in general, the head; the poll; the noddle: usually employed in a trivial or derogatory sense, like noddle, etc.
  • n. The skin of a calf's head. Imp. Dict.
  • n. Wit; cleverness; “brains”; “head.”
  • n. In the fur trade, the fur from a black patch on the head of the wild rabbit.
  • n. A badger.
  • n. The flesh split obtained in splitting or leveling a side of leather.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the top of the head
  • n. liver or meat or fowl finely minced or ground and variously seasoned


Middle English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
c.1200, perhaps a shortened form of Old French patene or Medieval Latin patena, both from Latin patina ("pan, dish") (Wiktionary)
c.1700, French pâté, from Old French paste, pastée. (Wiktionary)


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  • tons of meaning for this word

    November 25, 2012

  • ...and the wool of his pate shaved into queer patterns...
    -Heart of Darknesss (Conrad)

    March 19, 2011

  • Also the top of a bald man's head.

    April 13, 2009