When you patch something, you repair it, like when you patch a hole in the knee of your favorite jeans or when road crews use asphalt to patch a pothole in the street.

The verb patch describes fixing by filling in a weak spot or by replacing missing material. You might patch a wall, for example, to fill in a hole before you paint it, or even “patch things up” after a disagreement with a friend. As a noun, patch describes a period of time, like a "rough path," the material used for fixing, like the patch you sew over a hole in fabric, or even a small piece of land, like a garden patch.

Primary Meanings of patch

a small contrasting part of something
provide with a patch; also used metaphorically
a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition
to join or unite the pieces of
a short set of commands to correct a bug in a computer program
Full Definitions of patch

n a small contrasting part of something

“a patch of clouds”
patches of thin ice”
dapple, fleck, maculation, speckle, spot
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pinpoint, speck
a very small spot
(pathology) a faint cloudy spot on the cornea
a patch of bright color
fret, worn spot
a spot that has been worn away by abrasion or erosion
(pathology) a small abnormal patch on or inside the body
macula, macule
a patch of skin that is discolored but not usually elevated; caused by various diseases
mock sun, parhelion, sundog
a bright spot on the parhelic circle; caused by diffraction by ice crystals
macula, sunspot
a cooler darker spot appearing periodically on the sun's photosphere; associated with a strong magnetic field
a large bright spot on the sun's photosphere occurring most frequently in the vicinity of sunspots
a bright spot on a planet
amyloid plaque, amyloid protein plaque
a plaque consisting of tangles of amyloid protein in nervous tissue (a pathological mark of Alzheimer's disease)
arterial plaque
a fatty deposit inside an arterial wall; characteristic of atherosclerosis
bacterial plaque, dental plaque
a film of mucus and bacteria deposited on the teeth that encourages the development of dental caries
freckle, lentigo
a small brownish spot (of the pigment melanin) on the skin
liver spot
a type of skin disease that causes brown spots on the skin
plague spot
a spot on the skin characteristic of the plague
Type of:
a pattern of marks

n a piece of cloth used as decoration or to mend or cover a hole

a bright patch of color used for decoration or identification
(usually used in the plural) one of a pair of adhesive patches worn to cover the nipples of exotic dancers and striptease performers
shoulder patch
patch worn on the shoulder of a military uniform to indicate rank
Type of:
piece of cloth, piece of material
a separate part consisting of fabric

n sewing that repairs a worn or torn hole (especially in a garment)

darn, mend
Type of:
sewing, stitchery
needlework on which you are working with needle and thread

n a piece of soft material that covers and protects an injured part of the body

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adhesive bandage
bandage consisting of a medical dressing of plain absorbent gauze held in place by a plastic or fabric tape coated with adhesive
capeline bandage
bandage that covers the head or an amputation stump like a cap
cast, plaster bandage, plaster cast
bandage consisting of a firm covering (often made of plaster of Paris) that immobilizes broken bones while they heal
compression bandage, tourniquet
bandage that stops the flow of blood from an artery by applying pressure
elastic bandage
a bandage containing stretchable material that can apply local pressure
four-tailed bandage
a bandage consisting of a strip of cloth split in two on both ends; the central part is placed under the chin to restrict motion of the mandible and the tails are tied over the top of the head
immovable bandage
a bandage of cloth impregnated with a substance (e.g., plaster of Paris) that hardens soon after it is applied
oblique bandage
a bandage in which successive turns proceed obliquely up or down a limb
roller bandage
bandage consisting of a strip of sterile fabric (of variable width) rolled into a cylinder to facilitate application
scarf bandage, sling, triangular bandage
bandage to support an injured forearm; consisting of a wide triangular piece of cloth hanging from around the neck
suspensory, suspensory bandage
a bandage of elastic fabric applied to uplift a dependant part (as the scrotum or a pendulous breast)
swathe, wrapping
an enveloping bandage
(medicine) a bandage consisting of a pad and belt; worn to hold a hernia in place by pressure
Band Aid
trade name for an adhesive bandage to cover small cuts or blisters
an elastic adhesive bandage for covering cuts or wounds
spiral bandage
an oblique bandage in which successive turns overlap preceding turns
Type of:
dressing, medical dressing
a cloth covering for a wound or sore

n a protective cloth covering for an injured eye

Type of:
cloth covering
a covering made of cloth

n a small area of ground covered by specific vegetation

“a cabbage patch
“a briar patch
plot, plot of ground, plot of land
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
a terraced garden at Babylon watered by pumps from the Euphrates; construction attributed to Nebuchadnezzar around 600 BC
Tuileries Gardens
formal gardens next to the Louvre in Paris
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a plot of ground in which plants are growing
a plot of ground where plants are cultivated
asparagus bed
a bed in which asparagus is growing
bed of flowers, flower bed, flowerbed
a bed in which flowers are growing
flower garden
a garden featuring flowering plants
formal garden
a garden laid out on regular lines with plants arranged in symmetrical locations or in geometrical designs
grove, orchard, plantation, woodlet
garden consisting of a small cultivated wood without undergrowth
herb garden
a garden for growing herbs
hop field, hop garden
a garden where hops are grown
a bed of earth covered with glass and heated by rotting manure to promote the growth of plants
kitchen garden, vegetable garden, vegetable patch
a small garden where vegetables are grown
a garden laid out for esthetic effect
market garden
a garden where fruit and vegetables are grown for marketing
pot farm
a plot of ground where marijuana is grown and harvested (often hidden in a national forest)
rock garden, rockery
a garden featuring rocks; usually alpine plants
roof garden
a garden on a flat roof of a building
rose garden
a garden for growing roses
a bed where seedlings are grown before transplanting
sunken garden
a garden set below the level of the ground surrounding it
tea garden
a public garden where tea is served
a garden having shrubs clipped or trimmed into decorative shapes especially of animals
turnip bed
a bed in which turnips are growing
Type of:
parcel, parcel of land, piece of ground, piece of land, tract
an extended area of land

v provide with a patch; also used metaphorically

“The field was patched with snow”
Type of:
furnish, provide, render, supply
give something useful or necessary to

v mend by putting a patch on

patch a hole”
patch up
Type of:
bushel, doctor, fix, furbish up, mend, repair, restore, touch on
restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken

v repair by adding pieces

Type of:
bushel, doctor, fix, furbish up, mend, repair, restore, touch on
restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken

n a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition

“a patch of bad weather”
piece, spell, while
cold snap, cold spell
a spell of cold weather
hot spell
a spell of hot weather
a spell of cold weather
Type of:
an indefinite period (usually marked by specific attributes or activities)

n a connection intended to be used for a limited time

temporary hookup
Type of:
connecter, connection, connective, connector, connexion
an instrumentality that connects
contrivance, lash-up
any improvised arrangement for temporary use

v to join or unite the pieces of

patch the skirt”
vamp, vamp up
piece (something old) with a new part
Type of:
conjoin, join
make contact or come together

n a short set of commands to correct a bug in a computer program

Type of:
computer program, computer programme, program, programme
(computer science) a sequence of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute

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