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Borrowed from French pat (stalemate [in chess]).


  • IPA(key): /pat/
  • Rhymes: -at
  • (file)


Patt n (strong, genitive Patts, plural Patts)

  1. (chess) stalemate
  2. (figurative) stalemate; tie (situation where two sides are equally strong, often leading to stagnation)
    das Atompatt zwischen den Blöcken
    the nuclear stalemate between the blocs
    Die Wahl endete mit einem Patt zwischen der regierenden Koalition und der Opposition.
    The election ended in a tie between the incumbent coalition and the opposition.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Not commonly used for stagnation that is due to an inability or unwillingness to reach a compromise, as in a negotiation. For that use Sackgasse or Stillstand.


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Patt” in Duden online


Alternative forms[edit]



Patt m (plural Patte)

  1. godfather

Further reading[edit]



Etymology 1[edit]

From northwestern Middle High German pot, itself either an unshifted relict or a borrowing from Middle Dutch, from Proto-West Germanic *pott. Cognate with German Pott, Dutch pot, English pot, French pot. The sense “(large) drinking vessel” is also found in neighbouring dialects of Moselle Franconian.


Patt m (plural Pätt, diminutive Pättchen)

  1. a drinking vessel, now chiefly one for alcoholic drinks
    Synonyms: Glas, Wäiglas, Flütt, Béierglas, Béierkrou, Humpen
  2. the quantity of liquid in such a vessel
  3. a round of drinks
    Synonym: Tournée

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from French patte (paw).


Patt f (plural Patten, diminutive Pättchen)

  1. paw of an animal, or (derogatory) hand of a person
    Synonym: Pout
  2. (botany) bud
    Synonym: Knapp
Usage notes[edit]
  • There is a tendency to use Patt of animals and Pout (disparagingly) of people, but both words have both senses.