Other forms: patted; patting; pats; patly; pated

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.

Definitions of pat
  1. verb
    hit lightly
    pat him on the shoulder”
    synonyms: dab
    see moresee less
    type of:
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  2. verb
    pat or squeeze fondly or playfully, especially under the chin
    synonyms: chuck
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    type of:
    caress, fondle
    touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
  3. noun
    a light touch or stroke
    synonyms: dab, tap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    touch, touching
    the act of putting two things together with no space between them
  4. noun
    the sound made by a gentle blow
    synonyms: rap, tap
    see moresee less
    a series of rapid tapping sounds
    type of:
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  5. adjective
    exactly suited to the occasion
    “a pat reply”
    suitable for a particular person, place, condition, etc.
  6. adverb
    completely or perfectly
    “he has the lesson pat
    “had the system down pat
  7. adjective
    having only superficial plausibility
    synonyms: glib, slick
    apparently reasonable, valid, or truthful




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘pat'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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