Definition of pat-down in English:


(also patdown)


  • An act of searching a person for concealed items such as weapons or illegal drugs, made by passing the hands over their clothing.

    • ‘Everyone was subject to bag checks and a pat-down.’
    • ‘A lengthy check entails, an embarrassing pat-down follows.’
    • ‘The passengers knew she was not a threat and doubtless the poor fool assigned to give her a security patdown and inspect her shoes knew she was no threat, yet the system built around airport security chooses randomly.’
    • ‘She pushed the pistol in his back and gave him a surprisingly expert pat-down with her free hand.’
    • ‘After a quick pat-down and car search, they directed him to his destination.’
    • ‘Several security guards want to give me a rigorous patdown before I'm allowed into the Olympic Park to watch the First Night Fireworks from what will one day be my local park.’
    • ‘Some searching questions, a patdown and a longish wait in a shed later, I'm in.’
    • ‘More recently, the Transportation Security Administration has made headlines with a change in its pat-down policies.’
    • ‘Pay up, pass through the security patdown, and wait for the lift.’
    • ‘Border regulations allow agents to ask questions, look inside your car, ask you for your passport, and do a patdown.’
    • ‘Nope, they then did a full-body wand and patdown, ran my boarding pass through a computer, and then finally took a dust swab off my shoes to run through a computer.’
    • ‘They can go through a pat-down or they can be scanned by this machine called a backscatter machine.’
    • ‘Get there early or be prepared for a long wait before the obligatory pat-down by the stone-faced bouncers.’
    • ‘Do we prefer a high technology scan of our person or the physical pat-down?’
    • ‘New patdown procedures are in effect tonight after hundreds of women complained they were being groped during the screenings.’
    • ‘Passengers can choose between the see-through screen or a pat-down.’
    • ‘And forget the pat-down, we're talking about new rules for airport security.’
    • ‘Not content with bag searches and scans with hand-held metal detectors, this chap insists on a proper pat-down search.’
    • ‘She gives me a patdown, where she finds nothing.’
    • ‘Why they need to do a full-body patdown, as opposed to just a scan of your shoes when you decide not to remove your shoes when you go through the metal detector is not clear to me.’
    • ‘This could detect a bomb, depending how thorough that pat-down is.’