Definition of patsy in English:



North American
  • A person who is easily taken advantage of, especially by being cheated or blamed for something.

    ‘the blonde was drop-dead gorgeous but she was nobody's patsy’
    • ‘Being a steadfast ally of the US doesn't mean being a patsy.’
    • ‘There is a difference between being magnanimous and being a patsy.’
    • ‘So can you believe that Ashley already has a new patsy for the school year?’
    • ‘Show Europe that Ireland isn't the patsy they think we are.’
    • ‘In fact, they have been just such patsies for years.’
    • ‘He said: ‘The Scottish police were nobody's patsies.’’
    • ‘A well-dressed man virtually fed the victim to the mob, then escaped, and Marquez wonders if the supposed assassin was really an innocent patsy.’
    • ‘The average guy who buys a mutual fund is not an investor at all; he's a chump, a patsy, a schmuck.’
    • ‘He says he is being made a patsy by the government.’
    • ‘I try never to forget that even for the powerful and their patsies, this is all a surreal and confusing game.’
    • ‘I don't know whether you are misguided, clueless, a patsy, or a fool.’
    • ‘This is a fiendishly clever plot, and he is indeed the patsy.’
    • ‘He is an excellent patsy to take on the role, as he has Alzheimer's and can't be asked any embarrassing questions.’
    • ‘‘I know what a patsy is,’ Bert says, mimicking Jonnie's earlier words.’
    • ‘Maybe they figured they would know too much to be reliable patsies.’
    • ‘He seems to perpetually be a patsy or bad guy in everything he plays, which I suppose he can't complain about since he's made a living at it.’
    • ‘They didn't like to look bad, so they would be looking for someone to pin it on and if they found out he had taken the car, he would be a perfect patsy.’
    • ‘There had to be darker forces, some mysterious hand driving him to do this, to make him a patsy, then to silence him in public.’
    • ‘Mapes thereby revealed herself to be a patsy, a mark, a victim of the Big Con.’
    • ‘To their shame, these business leaders view shareholders as patsies, not partners.’
    fool, simpleton, innocent, dupe, gull
    View synonyms


Early 20th century: of unknown origin.