A patent is a government document that proves that an invention is yours and yours alone. In the U.S., as of 2009, over 7,000,000 patents were issued by the Patent and Trademark Office.

Patent also refers to leather that has a very shiny finish. The process for making leather look like this was once patented, but since patents do not last forever, the process is now available for anyone to use. As with patent leather, the word is often used as part of a sales pitch, explaining why something is special: "We use patented technology..." or "Our patented method..."

Definitions of patent
  1. noun
    a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
    synonyms: patent of invention
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    type of:
    document, papers, written document
    writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)
  2. noun
    an official document granting a right or privilege
    synonyms: letters patent
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    type of:
    instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document
    (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right
  3. verb
    obtain a patent for
    “Should I patent this invention?”
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    type of:
    procure, secure
    get by special effort
  4. verb
    grant rights to; grant a patent for
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    type of:
    record in writing; enter into a book of names or events or transactions
  5. adjective
    (of a bodily tube or passageway) open; affording free passage
    patent ductus arteriosus”
    free from impediment or obstruction or hindrance
  6. adjective
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    patent advantages”
    synonyms: apparent, evident, manifest, plain, resounding, unmistakable
    easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind
  7. verb
    make open to sight or notice
    “His behavior has patented an embarrassing fact about him”
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
Word Family

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