Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To tap gently with the open hand or with something flat.
  • transitive v. To stroke lightly as a gesture of affection.
  • transitive v. To mold by tapping gently with the hands or a flat implement.
  • intransitive v. To run or walk with a tapping sound.
  • intransitive v. To hit something or against something gently or lightly.
  • n. A light gentle stroke or tap.
  • n. The sound made by a light stroke or tap or by light footsteps.
  • n. A small mass shaped by or as if by patting: a pat of butter.
  • idiom pat on the back A word or gesture of praise or approval: received a pat on the back for doing a good job.
  • adj. Trite or glib; superficially complete or satisfactory: A pat answer is not going to satisfy an inquisitive audience.
  • adj. Timely or opportune.
  • adj. Suitable; fitting.
  • adj. Games Being a poker hand that is strong enough to make drawing cards unlikely to improve it.
  • adv. Informal Completely, exactly, or perfectly: They've got the system down pat. He has the lesson pat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. patent
  • n. pattern
  • n. The sound of a light slap or tap with a soft flat object, especially of a footstep
  • n. A light tap or slap, especially with the hands
  • n. A flattish lump of soft matter, especially butter or dung.
  • v. To (gently) tap the flat of one's hand on a person or thing.
  • v. To hit lightly and repeatedly with the flat of the hand to make smooth or flat
  • v. To stroke or fondle (an animal).
  • v. To gently rain.
  • adj. timely, suitable, apt, opportune, ready for the occasion; especially of things spoken
  • adj. trite, being superficially complete, lacking originality
  • adv. opportunely, in a timely or suitable way.
  • adv. Perfectly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike gently with the fingers or hand; tap.
  • n. A light quick blow or stroke with the hand or the fingers.
  • n. Patter.
  • Fitly; conveniently; just in the nick; exactly; readily; fluently.
  • Apt; fit; convenient; exactly suitable as to either time or place; ready; fluent.
  • Pert; brisk; lively.
  • n. A lump, as of butter, molded or pressed into some regular shape.
  • n. A Scotch form of pot.
  • n. A Scotch preterit and past participle of put.
  • n. A common name for an Irishman. Compare Biddy.
  • n. In India, indigo-plants cut off within a foot of the ground and made into bundles for delivery at the factories.
  • n. An East Indian name for jute-fiber.
  • Just at the present point: just there; without acting or moving: used in the following phrase.
  • Hence— In politics, to adhere obstinately to an existing status or policy, refusing to consider proposals of change or reform; stand still, in a blind or stubborn refusal to disturb existing conditions when they are profitable to one's party or one's self.

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

  • adv. completely or perfectly
  • v. pat or squeeze fondly or playfully, especially under the chin
  • adj. exactly suited to the occasion
  • v. hit lightly
  • n. the sound made by a gentle blow
  • n. a light touch or stroke
  • adj. having only superficial plausibility

Etymologies

From Middle English, a blow, perhaps of imitative origin.
From pat1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Abbreviation. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English *patten, alteration (with loss of medial l) of Middle English platten, pletten ("to pat"), from Old English plættan ("to buffet, strike, slap, smack, to give a sounding blow"), from Proto-Germanic *plat- (“to strike, beat”), from Proto-Indo-European *b(e)lad-, *b(e)led- (“to strike, beat”). Cognate with Middle Dutch platten, pletten ("to strike, bruise, crush, rub"), German platzen ("to split, burst, break up"), Bavarian patzen ("to pat"), Swedish plätta, pjätta ("to pat, tap"). For loss of l, compare patch for platch; pate for plate, etc. See plat. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker's man.....;-)

    February 9, 2008