When something patters, it makes a light, rhythmic, tapping sound. On a rainy night, you might love lying in bed listening to the rain patter on the roof.

You can describe the way rain patters, or the way children's feet patter down the hallway on Christmas morning. The light, quick sound itself is also a patter: "Listen to the patter of sleet on the window!" Informally, a salesman's pitch can be called patter as well, from an older meaning, "talk rapidly," from pater, "mumble prayers rapidly." The tapping kind of patter has a different root, which it shares with pat.

Definitions of patter

v make light, rapid and repeated sounds

“gently pattering rain”
Type of:
go, sound
make a certain noise or sound

v rain gently

pitter-patter, spatter, spit, sprinkle
Type of:
rain, rain down
precipitate as rain

n a quick succession of light rapid sounds

“the patter of mice”
“the patter of tiny feet”
Type of:
the sudden occurrence of an audible event

n plausible glib talk (especially useful to a salesperson)

line of gab, spiel
Type of:
channel, communication channel, line
(often plural) a means of communication or access

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