alexander patch

Patch

[pach]
noun
Alexander McCarrell [muh-kar-uhl] , 1889–1945, U.S. World War II general.
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World English Dictionary
patch (pætʃ)
 
n
1.  a.  a piece of material used to mend a garment or to make patchwork, a sewn-on pocket, etc
 b.  (as modifier): a patch pocket
2.  a small piece, area, expanse, etc
3.  a.  a small plot of land
 b.  its produce: a patch of cabbages
4.  a district for which particular officials, such as social workers or policemen, have responsibility: he's a problem that's on your patch, John
5.  pathol any discoloured area on the skin, mucous membranes, etc, usually being one sign of a specific disorder
6.  med
 a.  a protective covering for an injured eye
 b.  any protective dressing
7.  an imitation beauty spot, esp one made of black or coloured silk, worn by both sexes, esp in the 18th century
8.  (US) Also called: flash an identifying piece of fabric worn on the shoulder of a uniform, on a vehicle, etc
9.  a small contrasting section or stretch: a patch of cloud in the blue sky
10.  a scrap; remnant
11.  computing a small set of instructions to correct or improve a computer program
12.  informal (Austral) the insignia of a motorcycle club or gang
13.  a bad patch a difficult or troubled time
14.  informal not a patch on not nearly as good as
 
vb
15.  to mend or supply (a garment, etc) with a patch or patches
16.  to put together or produce with patches
17.  (of material) to serve as a patch to
18.  (often foll by up) to mend hurriedly or in a makeshift way
19.  (often foll by up) to make (up) or settle (a quarrel)
20.  to connect (electric circuits) together temporarily by means of a patch board
21.  (usually foll by through) to connect (a telephone call) by means of a patch board
22.  computing to correct or improve (a program) by adding a small set of instructions
 
[C16 pacche, perhaps from French piechepiece]
 
'patchable
 
adj
 
'patcher
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

patch
"piece of cloth used to mend another material," late 14c., of obscure origin, perhaps a variant of pece, pieche, from O.N.Fr. pieche (see piece), or from an unrecorded O.E. word. The verb is mid-15c., from the noun; electronics sense of "to connect temporarily" is attested
from 1923. Phrase not a patch on "nowhere near as good as" is from 1860.

patch
"fool, clown," 1549, perhaps from It. pazzo "fool," which is possibly from O.H.G. barzjan "to rave." Form perhaps infl. by folk-etymology from patch (1), on notion of a fool's patched garb.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

patch (pāch)
n.

  1. A small circumscribed area differing from the surrounding surface.

  2. A dressing or covering applied to protect a wound or sore.

  3. A transdermal patch.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
patch   (pāch)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A temporary, removable electronic connection, as one between two components in a communications system.

  2. A piece of code added to software in order to fix a bug, especially as a temporary correction between two versions of the same software.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary

patch


1. n. A temporary addition to a piece of code, usually as a quick-and-dirty remedy to an existing bug or misfeature. A patch may or may not work, and may or may not eventually be incorporated permanently into the program. Distinguished from a diff or mod by the fact that a patch is generated by more primitive means than the rest of the program; the classical examples are instructions modified by using the front panel switches, and changes made directly to the binary executable of a program originally written in an HLL. Compare one-line fix.
2. vt. To insert a patch into a piece of code.
3. [in the Unix world] n. A diff (sense 2).
4. A set of modifications to binaries to be applied by a patching program. IBM operating systems often receive updates to the operating system in the form of absolute hexadecimal patches. If you have modified your OS, you have to disassemble these back to the source. The patches might later be corrected by other patches on top of them (patches were said to "grow scar tissue"). The result was often a convoluted patch space and headaches galore.
5. [Unix] the `patch(1)' program, written by Larry Wall, which automatically applies a patch (sense 3) to a set of source code.

There is a classic story of a tiger team penetrating a secure military computer that illustrates the danger inherent in binary patches (or, indeed, any patches that you can't -- or don't -- inspect and examine before installing). They couldn't find any trap doors or any way to penetrate security of IBM's OS, so they made a site visit to an IBM office (remember, these were official military types who were purportedly on official business), swiped some IBM stationery, and created a fake patch. The patch was actually the trapdoor they needed. The patch was distributed at about the right time for an IBM patch, had official stationery and all accompanying documentation, and was dutifully installed. The installation manager very shortly thereafter learned something about proper procedures.
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
PATCH
planned approach to community health
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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