patter

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See also: Pätter

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

1610s, pat +‎ -er (frequentative (indicating repeated action)),[1] of (onomatopoeia) origin.

Noun[edit]

patter (plural patters)

  1. The soft sound of feet walking on a hard surface.
    I could hear the patter of mice running about in the dark.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 7, The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      The patter of feet, and clatter of strap and swivel, seemed to swell into a bewildering din, but they were almost upon the fielato offices, where the carretera entered the town, before a rifle flashed.
Translations[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

patter (third-person singular simple present patters, present participle pattering, simple past and past participle pattered)

  1. To make irregularly repeated sounds of low-to-moderate magnitude and lower-than-average pitch.
    The bullets pattered into the log-cabin walls.
    • Thomson
      The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard.
  2. To spatter; to sprinkle.
    • J. R. Drake
      Patter the water about the boat.

Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Circa 1400, from paternoster (the Lord's prayer),[1] possibly influenced by imitative sense (above), Latin pater (father), from Proto-Indo-European *ph₂tḗr.

Noun attested 1758, originally referring to the cant of thieves and beggers.[1]

Noun[edit]

patter (plural patters)

  1. Glib and rapid speech, such as from an auctioneer, or banter during a sports event.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

patter (third-person singular simple present patters, present participle pattering, simple past and past participle pattered)

  1. To speak in such a way – glibly and rapidly, such as from an auctioneer, or when bantering during a sports event.
    • Mayhew
      I've gone out and pattered to get money.
Translations[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

pat +‎ -er (agent)

Noun[edit]

patter (plural patters)

  1. One who pats.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 patter” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).