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

  • adj. Made up of or marked by patches: patchy trousers.
  • adj. Uneven in quality or performance: Their work is patchy at best.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Full of, or covered with, patches; abounding in patches.
  • adj. Not constant or continuous; intermittent or uneven.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of, or covered with, patches; abounding in patches.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Full of patches; occurring in patches.
  • Cross; peevish. Compare cross-patch. Trollope.
  • Inharmonious; composed of incongruous parts; lacking unity of design in execution: said especially of a work of art or a piece of decoration.

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

  • adj. irregular or uneven in quality, texture, etc.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I had an email from a guy about a flat written in patchy English which included the sentence "I am the Land Lord."

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  • It came in patchy (think mange on a Labrador retriever) and I got rid of it when I got back to civilization, but the mustache remained.

    February 2006

  • Only a month after the accident, long-term health risks are described as "patchy" and "unclear," as officials begin testing the playgrounds of schools and nurseries.

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  • Tonight/Tuesday: The forecast through early-to-mid morning is best described as patchy light frozen precipitation snow, sleet, and/or freezing rain, especially in the northern suburbs, with temperatures remaining below freezing in the mid-20s to near 30.

    Update on weather for next two a.m. commutes

  • The tone was very patchy, which is a script problem.

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  • In this Sayid-centric episode of LOST, we discuss Sayid's backstory in Paris, the discovery of "the flame" station and the introduction of Mikhael Bakunin aka patchy and his history of the island.

    LOSTCasts 47: Enter 77

  • Given that a quarter-final with Benfica was on the agenda and Liverpool's form could best have been described as patchy, it took a leap of faith to see Mascherano's promise being fulfilled.


  • UK - A quiet day's trading with most contract buyers having enough pigs in the system to meet what was described as patchy retail sales and although the recent heatwave has boosted demand for parts of the pig, the loin remains hard to sell, writes Peter Crichton.

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  • Qantas says economic recovery 'patchy' QANTAS says the Asia-Pacific offers the biggest opportunity in 2010/11, while the domestic market is recovering and overseas remains "patchy". | Top Stories

  • According to evidence submitted to the committee, the current appraisal system for doctors is "patchy" and does not happen at all in some areas.

    GMC urged to push through doctor assessments plans


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