Something that repeats in a predictable way is a pattern. You might find a pattern in a series of numbers, in the material covering your couch, or in the habits of your upstairs neighbor.

The noun pattern could refer to a design or to customary behavior. Your patterns of behavior might include your morning cup of coffee and exercise. The word pattern can also be used as a verb form meaning "to model." For example, your art might be patterned after the artwork of a famous artist.

Primary Meanings of pattern

a perceptual structure
form a pattern
a decorative or artistic work
the path that is prescribed for an airplane that is preparing to land at an airport
graphical representation (in polar or Cartesian coordinates) of the spatial distribution of radiation from an antenna as a function of angle
Full Definitions of pattern

n a perceptual structure

“a visual pattern must include not only objects but the spaces between them”
form, shape
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(mathematics) a geometric pattern that is repeated at every scale and so cannot be represented by classical geometry
a configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that it cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts
a pattern of regularly spaced horizontal and vertical lines
a complex pattern of constantly changing colors and shapes
a pattern resembling a mosaic
a pattern forming a unity within a larger structural whole
reference grid
a pattern of horizontal and vertical lines that provide coordinates for locating points on an image or a map
Amsler grid
a pattern of small boxes that is used for self-monitoring by patients who have age-related macular degeneration
Type of:
the complex composition of knowledge as elements and their combinations

n something regarded as a normative example

convention, formula, normal, rule
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(sociology) the conventions that embody the fundamental values of a group
code of behavior, code of conduct
a set of conventional principles and expectations that are considered binding on any person who is a member of a particular group
a behavioral convention or pattern characteristic of all members of a particular culture or of all human beings
courtly love
(Middle Ages) a highly conventionalized code of conduct for lovers
knight errantry
(Middle Ages) the code of conduct observed by a knight errant who is wandering in search of deeds of chivalry
code of correct conduct
Type of:
knowledge of how something is usually done

n a model considered worthy of imitation

“the American constitution has provided a pattern for many republics”
Type of:
example, exemplar, good example, model
something to be imitated

n something intended as a guide for making something else

“a pattern for a skirt”
blueprint, design
Type of:
plan, program, programme
a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished

n a customary way of operation or behavior

“they changed their dietary pattern
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use of biological principles in explaining human especially social behavior
the practice of cooperating
the practice (usually by a labor union) of requiring an employer to hire more workers than are required
the practice of scrupulous adherence to prescribed or external forms
the practice of keeping one jump ahead of a friend or competitor
the practice of one person holding more than one benefice at a time
symbolisation, symbolism, symbolization
the practice of investing things with symbolic meaning
practices typical of contemporary life or thought
occult, occult arts
supernatural practices and techniques
the practice of ornamental display
the practice of eating the flesh of your own kind
the practice of advancing your career at the expense of your personal integrity
custom, usage, usance
accepted or habitual practice
habitual mode of behavior
characteristic or habitual practice
the practice of lobbying; the activities of a lobbyist
slaveholding, slavery
the practice of owning slaves
the practice of making a debtor work for his creditor until the debt is discharged
unwritten law
law based on customary behavior
lynch law
the practice of punishing people by hanging without due process of law
the practice of treating (someone or something) badly
the practice of nonconformity
calisthenics, callisthenics
the practice of calisthenic exercises
the practice of quoting from books or plays etc.
the prescribed procedure for conducting religious ceremonies
exaggerated emphasis on the importance of rites or ritualistic forms in worship
naturism, nudism
going without clothes as a social practice
the habitual practice of systematization and classification
cross dressing, transvestism, transvestitism
the practice of adopting the clothes or the manner or the sexual role of the opposite sex
the ritual washing of a priest's hands or of sacred vessels
human cannibalism; the eating of human flesh
a custom that is peculiar to the United States or its citizens
Anglicism, Britishism
a custom that is peculiar to England or its citizens
a custom or usage that has acquired the force of law
a custom among some peoples whereby the husband of a pregnant wife is put to bed at the time of bearing the child
a custom that is peculiar to Germany or its citizens
habit, use
(psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition
the custom in some Islamic societies of women dressing modestly outside the home
daily round, round
the usual activities in your day
line of least resistance, path of least resistance
the easiest way
annoyance, annoying, irritation, vexation
the act of troubling or annoying someone
disregard, neglect
willful lack of care and attention
exploitation, using, victimisation, victimization
an act that exploits or victimizes someone (treats them unfairly)
harassment, molestation
the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism
abuse, ill-treatment, ill-usage, maltreatment
cruel or inhumane treatment
celebration, solemnisation, solemnization
the public performance of a sacrament or solemn ceremony with all appropriate ritual
rite, ritual
any customary observance or practice
Communion, Holy Communion, manduction, sacramental manduction
the act of participating in the celebration of the Eucharist
Type of:
any specific behavior

v form a pattern

“These sentences pattern like the ones we studied before”
Type of:
agree, check, correspond, fit, gibe, jibe, match, tally
be compatible, similar, or consistent; coincide in their characteristics

v plan or create according to a model or models

pattern, make, regulate, set, measure, or estimate according to some rate or standard
sovietise, sovietize
model a country's social, political, and economic structure on the Soviet Union
Type of:
copy, imitate, simulate
reproduce someone's behavior or looks

n a decorative or artistic work

design, figure
Great Seal of the United States
the seal of the United States government
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argyle, argyll
a design consisting of a pattern of varicolored diamonds on a solid background (originally for knitted articles); patterned after the tartan of a clan in western Scotland
bear claw
an incised design resembling the claw of a bear; used in Native American pottery
a design produced by inlaying gold or silver into steel
decal, decalcomania
either a design that is fixed to some surface or a paper bearing the design which is to be transferred to the surface
any ornamental pattern or design (as in embroidery)
special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.
herringbone, herringbone pattern
a pattern of columns of short parallel lines with all the lines in one column sloping one way and lines in adjacent columns sloping the other way; it is used in weaving, masonry, parquetry, embroidery
a design carved in relief into a block of linoleum
any of various geometric designs (usually circular) symbolizing the universe; used chiefly in Hinduism and Buddhism as an aid to meditation
(Islam) a design in the shape of niche in a Muslim prayer rug; during worship the niche must be pointed toward Mecca
motif, motive
a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration
polka dot
design consisting of a pattern of regularly spaced circular spots
a design produced by pyrography
screen saver
(computer science) a moving design that appears on a computer screen when there has been no input for a specified period of time
a design consisting of a central disk resembling the sun and rays emanating from it
a design on the skin made by tattooing
tetraskele, tetraskelion
a figure consisting of four stylized human arms or legs (or bent lines) radiating from a center
triskele, triskelion
a figure consisting of three stylized human arms or legs (or three bent lines) radiating from a center
pattern of weaving or structure of a fabric
a pattern of marks
a textile pattern of squares or crossed lines (resembling a checkerboard)
a publisher's emblem printed in a book (usually on the title page)
colors, colours
a distinguishing emblem
(heraldry) in medieval times, an emblem used to decorate a helmet
a representation of the structure on which Jesus was crucified; used as an emblem of Christianity or in heraldry
an emblematic design (especially in heraldry)
emblem usually consisting of a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design
emblem indicating the right of a person to bear arms
open weave
a weave in which warp threads never come together, leaving interstices in the fabric
plain weave, taffeta weave
a basic style of weave in which the weft and warp threads intertwine alternately to produce a checkerboard effect
satin weave
a weave in which the filling and warp threads intersect in such a way as to give a smooth compact surface with no distinguishable twill line
seal, stamp
a device incised to make an impression; used to secure a closing or to authenticate documents
skull and crossbones
emblem warning of danger or death
emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant; serves as the symbol of a family or clan (especially among American Indians)
totem pole
a tribal emblem consisting of a pillar carved and painted with totemic figures; erected by Indian tribes of the northwest Pacific coast
twill, twill weave
a weave used to produce the effect of parallel diagonal ribs
a light-colored marking
crisscross, cross, mark
a marking that consists of lines that cross each other
eyespot, ocellus
an eyelike marking (as on the wings of some butterflies); usually a spot of color inside a ring of another color
graded markings that indicate light or shaded areas in a drawing or painting
dapple, fleck, maculation, patch, speckle, spot
a small contrasting part of something
bar, streak, stripe
a narrow marking of a different color or texture from the background
Hakenkreuz, swastika
the official emblem of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich; a cross with the arms bent at right angles in a clockwise direction
Type of:
decoration, ornament, ornamentation
something used to beautify

n the path that is prescribed for an airplane that is preparing to land at an airport

“the traffic patterns around O'Hare are very crowded”
“they stayed in the pattern until the fog lifted”
approach pattern, traffic pattern
Type of:
itinerary, path, route
an established line of travel or access

n graphical representation (in polar or Cartesian coordinates) of the spatial distribution of radiation from an antenna as a function of angle

radiation diagram, radiation pattern
Type of:
graph, graphical record
a visual representation of the relations between certain quantities plotted with reference to a set of axes

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