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pate

[peyt] /peɪt/
noun
1.
the crown or top of the head.
2.
the head.
3.
the brain.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English, < ?
Can be confused
paddy, pate, pâte, pâté.

pâte

[paht] /pɑt/
noun
1.
porcelain paste used in ceramic work.
Origin
1860-65; < French; see paste
Can be confused
paddy, pate, pâte, pâté.

pâté

[pah-tey, pa‐; French pah-tey, pa‐] /pɑˈteɪ, pæ‐; French pɑˈteɪ, pæ‐/
noun, plural pâtés
[pah-teyz, pa‐; French pah-tey] /pɑˈteɪz, pæ‐; French pɑˈteɪ/ (Show IPA)
1.
French Cookery. a paste or spread made of puréed or finely chopped liver, meat, fish, game, etc., served as an hors d'oeuvre.
2.
Origin
1695-1705; < French; see paste, -ee
Can be confused
paddy, pate, pâte, pâté.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for pate
  • Then he extends his arm deeper, working the silt, and draws out the domed pate of a human skull.
  • She tells him that she'd let him talk to the chairman of his department with a dab of pate on his chin.
  • So that the mischief they intended to us, came upon their own pate.
British Dictionary definitions for pate

pate

/peɪt/
noun
1.
the head, esp with reference to baldness or (in facetious use) intelligence
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin

pâté

/ˈpæteɪ; French pɑte/
noun
1.
a spread of very finely minced liver, poultry, etc, served usually as an hors d'oeuvre
2.
a savoury pie of meat or fish
Word Origin
from French: paste1
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 pate
n.

"top of the head," early 14c. (late 12c. in surnames), of unknown origin; perhaps a shortened form of Old French patene or Medieval Latin patena, both from Latin patina "pan, dish" (see pan (n.)).

"paste," 1706, from French pâté, from Old French paste, earlier pastée, from paste (see paste (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for pate

(French: "paste"), in French cuisine, a filled pastry, analogous to the English pie. The term pate is also used, with modifiers, to denote two other distinct preparations: pate en terrine, a meat, game, or fish mixture wrapped in suet or other animal fat or lining and cooked in a deep oval or oblong dish, without pastry, and served cold; and pate en croute, a meat, game, or fish filling cooked in a crust and served hot or cold. It is from pate en terrine, more properly abbreviated terrine, that the pate of British and American usage derives.

Learn more about pate with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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