Your pate is the top of your head. But say the word with a French accent, and voila! Now it’s a savory spread made of ground meat and spices. Pâté (the food!) is sometimes served with bread or crackers.

Although it’s like paste, some pates are considered a delicacy, like pâté de foie gras, the rich French dish made from goose liver, while other pates are made of different types of meat or even vegetarian ingredients. The pate you eat is usually spelled with its French accents — pâté — so you know to pronounce it with the emphasis on the final syllable, tay. A plain old pate is a jokey word for the top of the head that rhymes with fate.

Definitions of pate
  1. noun
    liver or meat or fowl finely minced or ground and variously seasoned
    see moresee less
    duck pate
    a pate made from duck liver
    foie gras, pate de foie gras
    a pate made from goose liver (marinated in Cognac) and truffles
    type of:
    paste, spread
    a tasty mixture to be spread on bread or crackers or used in preparing other dishes
  2. noun
    the top of the head
    synonyms: crown, poll
    see moresee less
    the shaved crown of a monk's or priest's head
    type of:
    top, top side, upper side, upside
    the highest or uppermost side of anything
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month