the crown or top of the head.
the head.
the brain.

1275–1325; Middle English, < ?

paddy, pate, pâte, pâté. Unabridged


porcelain paste used in ceramic work.

1860–65; < French; see paste

paddy, pate, pâte, pâté.


[pah-tey, pa‐; French pah-tey, pa‐]
noun, plural pâtés [pah-teyz, pa‐; French pah-tey] .
French Cookery. a paste or spread made of puréed or finely chopped liver, meat, fish, game, etc., served as an hors d'oeuvre.

1695–1705; < French; see paste, -ee

paddy, pate, pâte, pâté. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pate (peɪt)
the head, esp with reference to baldness or (in facetious use) intelligence
[C14: of unknown origin]

pâté (ˈpæteɪ, French pɑte)
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
[from French: paste1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"top of the head," 1197, perhaps a shortened form of O.Fr. patene or M.L. patena, both from L. patina "pan, dish."

"paste," 1706, from Fr. pâté, from O.Fr. paste, earlier pastée, from paste (see paste (n.)). Pâté de foie gras (1827) is lit. "pie of fat liver;" originally served in a pastry (as still in Alsace), the phrase now chiefly in Eng. with ref. to the filling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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