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

  • n. A grant made by a government that confers upon the creator of an invention the sole right to make, use, and sell that invention for a set period of time.
  • n. Letters patent.
  • n. An invention protected by such a grant.
  • n. A grant made by a government that confers on an individual fee-simple title to public lands.
  • n. The official document of such a grant.
  • n. The land so granted.
  • n. An exclusive right or title.
  • adj. Protected or conferred by a patent or letters patent: a patent right.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or dealing in patents: patent law.
  • adj. Obvious; plain. See Synonyms at apparent.
  • adj. Biology Not blocked; open.
  • adj. Biology Spreading open; expanded.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a nonprescription drug or other medical preparation that is often protected by a trademark.
  • adj. Of high quality. Used of flour.
  • adj. Archaic Open to general inspection. Used especially of documents.
  • transitive v. To obtain a patent on or for (an invention, for example).
  • transitive v. To invent, originate, or be the proprietor of (an idea, for example).
  • transitive v. To grant a patent to or for.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. open, unobstructed, expanded.
  • adj. explicit and obvious.
  • adj. that is fine, and consists mostly of the inner part of the endosperm
  • n. A declaration issued by a government agency declaring someone the inventor of a new invention and having the privilege of stopping others from making, using or selling the claimed invention; a letter patent.
  • n. A specific grant of ownership of a piece of property; a land patent.
  • n. Patent leather: a varnished, high-gloss leather typically used for shoes and accessories.
  • v. To successfully register an invention with a government agency; to secure a letter patent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Open; expanded; evident; apparent; unconcealed; manifest; public; conspicuous.
  • adj. Open to public perusal; -- said of a document conferring some right or privilege. See Letters patent, under 3d Letter.
  • adj. Appropriated or protected by letters patent; secured by official authority to the exclusive possession, control, and disposal of some person or party; patented
  • adj. Spreading; forming a nearly right angle with the steam or branch.
  • n. A letter patent, or letters patent; an official document, issued by a sovereign power, conferring a right or privilege on some person or party.
  • n. A writing securing to an invention.
  • n. A document making a grant and conveyance of public lands.
  • n. The right or privilege conferred by such a document; hence, figuratively, a right, privilege, or license of the nature of a patent.
  • transitive v. To grant by patent; to make the subject of a patent; to secure or protect by patent

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lying open; open; expanded.
  • Specifically— In botany, spreading; open; either widely spreading or diverging widely from an axis.
  • In zoology, patulous; open, as by the size of an aperture, the shallowness of a cavity, etc.
  • Manifest to all; unconcealed; evident; obvious; conspicuous.
  • Open to the perusal of all: as, letters patent. See letter.
  • Appropriated by letters patent; secured by law or patent as an exclusive privilege; restrained from general use; patented.
  • Synonyms Plain, obvious, palpable, unmistakable, glaring, notorious.
  • n. An official document, sometimes called letters patent (which see, under letter), conferring or granting a privilege; also, the privilege so granted: as, a patent of nobility; a patent conferring the right to engage in a particular trade or pursuit, maintain a place of amusement, or the like, usually to the exclusion of others.
  • n. Specifically— A letter of indulgence; an indulgence; a pardon.
  • n. The grant by a government to the author of a new and useful invention, or to his assigns, of the exclusive right of exploiting that invention for a specified term of years; also, the instrument or letters by which a grant of land is made by a government to a person or corporation.
  • n. An invention; a thing invented: as, the machine is a new patent.
  • n. A region or tract of land granted by letters patent; a concession.
  • To grant by patent; make the subject of a patent; grant an exclusive right to by letters patent.
  • To obtain a patent upon; obtain an exclusive right in by securing letters patent.
  • n. A Middle English form of patent.

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

  • v. grant rights to; grant a patent for
  • n. an official document granting a right or privilege
  • adj. clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
  • adj. (of a bodily tube or passageway) open; affording free passage
  • v. make open to sight or notice
  • n. a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
  • v. obtain a patent for


Middle English, document granting a right, short for (lettre) patent, open (letter), from Old French (lettre) patente, from Latin patēns, patent-, open, present participle of patēre, to be open; see petə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Short form of Anglo-Norman lettre patente, "open letter", from Latin littera patens. (Wiktionary)
From Latin patens ("open, lying open"), present participle of patere ("to lie open"). (Wiktionary)



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