Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To move with a series of quick tapping steps.
  • intransitive v. To make a repeated tapping sound.
  • n. A series of quick steps, taps, or beats.
  • adv. With a rapid tapping sound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Alternative spelling of pit-a-pat.
  • n. Alternative spelling of pit-a-pat.
  • adv. Alternative spelling of pit-a-pat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a flutter; with palpitation or quick succession of beats.
  • n. A light, repeated sound; a pattering, as of the rain.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • With a quick succession of beats; in a flutter; with palpitation.
  • Fluttering.
  • n. A light quick step; a succession of light beats or taps.
  • To step or tread quickly.

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

  • adv. describing a rhythmic beating
  • adv. as of footsteps

Etymologies

Imitative.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And though Widow Precious felt her heart go pitapat at first sight of another Mrs. Mordacks, she made up her mind, with a gulp, not to let this cash go to the Thornwick.

    Mary Anerley

  • I listened intently, and presently heard a light “pitapat,” as if some one was walking across the floor; and while I was trying to muster up courage to call out, there was a sharp click, a flood of light illumined the cell, and I saw that the intruder was a man.

    Golden Days for Boys and Girls Volume VIII, No 25: May 21, 1887

  • How his heart had gone pitapat when he had discovered it and had quietly, oh, so quietly, dropped his baited hook into the clear, spring water.

    A Son of the City A Story of Boy Life

  • "Three times and _out_," he whispered as the boys 'hearts went pitapat.

    A Son of the City A Story of Boy Life

  • Tommy Tit had been there often, so he didn't think anything about it, but Happy Jack never had been there, and if the truth were known, his heart was going pitapat, pitapat, with excitement and perhaps just a little fear.

    Happy Jack

  • And then she added, with a laugh, that he ought to be tied up, "for you are a cruel handsome man, Frank, and my heart goes pitapat at the very sight of you!"

    Love, the Fiddler

  • Still calmly, though my heart was going pitapat, pulled out Louis's dirk and began to whet it on the stone.

    Chapter 9

  • It was when the comandante, Don Señor el Coronel Encarnacion Rios, looked upon the little saint seated in the shop and felt his heart go pitapat.

    Cabbages and Kings

  • Awguan, top horse and foreman of Stanley's mount, swung pitapat down the winding pass at a brisk fox trot.

    Copper Streak Trail

  • Homeward they sped in silence, with little to vary the monotonous pitapat of Lady Ringtail's hoofs in the shallow pools with which the storm had filled the level roads.

    The end of an era,

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