Military. a cloth emblem worn on the upper uniform sleeve to identify the military unit of the wearer.
a small organizational or affiliational emblem of cloth sewn to one's jacket, shirt, cap, etc.
a connection or hookup, as between radio circuits or telephone lines:
The patch allowed shut-ins to hear the game by telephone.
a period of time characterized by some quality:
he was going through a rough patch.
Computers. a small piece of code designed to be inserted into an executable program in order to fix errors in, or update the program or its supporting data.
verb (used with object)
to mend, cover, or strengthen with or as if with a patch or patches.
to repair or restore, especially in a hasty or makeshift way (usually followed by up).
to make by joining patches or pieces together:
to patch a quilt.
to settle or smooth over (a quarrel, difference, etc.) (often followed by up):
They patched up their quarrel before the company arrived.
(especially in radio and telephone communications) to connect or hook up (circuits, programs, conversations, etc.) (often followed by through, into, etc.):
The radio show was patched through to the ship. Patch me through to the mainland.
verb (used without object)
to make a connection between radio circuits, telephone lines, etc. (often followed by in or into):
We patched into the ship-to-shore conversation.
1350-1400;Middle Englishpacche; perhaps akin to Old Provençalpedas piece to cover a hole < Vulgar Latin*pedaceum literally, something measured; compare Medieval Latinpedāre to measure in feet; see ped-
"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.
"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.
Mend or repair, make whole. For example, He managed to patch up the lawn mower so it's running, or John cut his hand badly, but they patched him up in the emergency room, or Mike and Molly have patched up their differences. This term alludes to mending something by putting patches of material on it.
[ Second half of 1500s