pat

When you pat, you tap lightly with your hand. A sad friend might be comforted by a kind pat on the shoulder. But that sad friend would not be comforted by a pat, insincere, comment.

Your grandfather might pat you on the head just like when you were little, even though you're taller than he is now. Dogs like getting a pat on the head, or maybe a pat of butter from the dinner table. When it's an adjective, pat means "way too simple" or "glib," as in "I asked a serious question — please don't give me a pat answer." To "have something down pat" is to know it by heart.

Primary Meanings of pat

1.
vn
hit lightly
a light touch or stroke
2.
adjadv
exactly suited to the occasion
completely or perfectly
3.
adj
having only superficial plausibility
Full Definitions of pat
1

v hit lightly

pat him on the shoulder”
Synonyms:
dab
Type of:
strike
deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon

v pat or squeeze fondly or playfully, especially under the chin

Synonyms:
chuck
Type of:
caress, fondle
touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner

n a light touch or stroke

Synonyms:
dab, tap
Type of:
touch, touching
the act of putting two things together with no space between them

n the sound made by a gentle blow

Synonyms:
rap, tap
Types:
pitter-patter
a series of rapid tapping sounds
Type of:
sound
the sudden occurrence of an audible event
2

adj exactly suited to the occasion

“a pat reply”
Synonyms:
appropriate
suitable for a particular person or place or condition etc

adv completely or perfectly

“he has the lesson pat
“had the system down pat
3

adj having only superficial plausibility

Synonyms:
glib, slick
plausible
apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful

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