follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

patter1

[pat-er] /ˈpæt ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to make a rapid succession of light taps:
Raindrops patter on the windowpane.
2.
to move or walk lightly or quickly:
The child pattered across the room.
verb (used with object)
3.
to cause to patter.
4.
to spatter with something.
noun
5.
a rapid succession of light tapping sounds:
the steady patter of rain on the tin roof.
6.
the act of pattering.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; pat1 + -er6
Synonyms
1. pat, beat, rap pelt.

patter2

[pat-er] /ˈpæt ər/
noun
1.
meaningless, rapid talk; mere chatter; gabble.
2.
the usually glib and rapid speech or talk used by a magician while performing, a barker at a circus or sideshow, a comedian or other entertainer, a vendor of questionable wares, or the like; stylized or rehearsed talk used to attract attention, entertain, etc.
3.
amusing lines delivered rapidly by an entertainer or performer, as in a comic routine or in a song.
4.
the jargon or cant of any class, group, etc.
verb (used without object)
5.
to talk glibly or rapidly, especially with little regard to meaning; chatter.
6.
to repeat a paternoster or other prayer in a rapid, mechanical way.
verb (used with object)
7.
to recite or repeat (prayers, verses, etc.) in a rapid, mechanical way.
8.
to repeat or say rapidly or glibly.
Origin
1375-1425; Middle English pateren to say the paternoster, pray mechanically; see pater
Related forms
patterer, paterist, noun

patter3

[pat-er] /ˈpæt ər/
noun
1.
a person or thing that pats.
Origin
pat1 + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for patter
  • Forthwith there came the swift patter of soft feet in pursuit.
  • The rice, still in its hull, falls into the boat with a soft patter.
  • McCartney was doing a run-through of the concert, including practice versions of his between-song patter.
  • The invasion paradox: reconciling patter and process in species invasions.
  • It flaps its pink paper ears and vocalizes excitedly in a babylike patter.
  • His trademark mumbling patter and sarcastic asides were developed during this time.
British Dictionary definitions for patter

patter1

/ˈpætə/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to walk or move with quick soft steps
2.
to strike with or make a quick succession of light tapping sounds
3.
(transitive) (rare) to cause to patter
noun
4.
a quick succession of light tapping sounds, as of feet the patter of mice
Word Origin
C17: from pat1

patter2

/ˈpætə/
noun
1.
the glib rapid speech of comedians, salesmen, etc
2.
quick idle talk; chatter
3.
the jargon of a particular group; lingo
verb
4.
(intransitive) to speak glibly and rapidly
5.
to repeat (prayers) in a mechanical or perfunctory manner
Word Origin
C14: from Latin pater in Pater Noster Our Father
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for patter
v.

"make quick taps," 1610s, frequentative of pat (v.). Related: Pattered; pattering. As a noun in this sense from 1844.

"talk rapidly," c.1400, from pater "mumble prayers rapidly" (c.1300), shortened form of paternoster. Perhaps influenced by patter (v.1). The related noun is first recorded 1758, originally "cant language of thieves and beggars." Cf. Devil's paternoster (1520s) "a grumbling and mumbling to oneself."

PATTERING. The maundering or pert replies of servants; also talk or palaver in order to amuse one intended to be cheated. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for patter

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for patter

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with patter