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[pach-ee] /ˈpætʃ i/
adjective, patchier, patchiest.
characterized by or made up of patches.
occurring in, forming, or like patches.
of inconsistent or irregular quality, texture, etc.; not uniform:
patchy acting; patchy areas of fog.
Origin of patchy
1790-1800; patch1 + -y1
Related forms
patchily, adverb
patchiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for patchy
  • He's a kind of half-breed, and the colour's come off patchy instead of mixing.
  • Their trunks are patchy white and their green leaves simply become dull and drop in autumn, never showing any trace of fall color.
  • Next comes a district of blocky, concrete structures with patchy lawns and low palm trees.
  • Significant snowfall may occur in the winter, and snow removal efforts may be patchy.
  • Sunny except for patchy low clouds and fog along the coastal slopes in the morning.
  • Partly cloudy with patchy fog in the morning then becoming sunny.
  • Bar tenders are attentive and professional, although service can become patchy when the bar is crowded on a big game day.
  • In developed countries, the reasons are often unclear why stillbirths occur, and surveillance and autopsy data are patchy.
  • Most of the time they were patchy views of a rather scatterbrained reality.
  • As a result, they display only patchy spots of excess hair growth.
British Dictionary definitions for patchy


adjective patchier, patchiest
irregular in quality, occurrence, intensity, etc: a patchy essay
having or forming patches
Derived Forms
patchily, adverb
patchiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for patchy

1798, from patch (n.1) + -y (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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patchy in Technology

A Fortran code management program written at CERN.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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