Definition of patch in US English:



  • 1A piece of cloth or other material used to mend or strengthen a torn or weak point.

    • ‘And I'm not a bald, bearded man with leather patches on the elbow, either.’
    • ‘The tan blazer he was wearing had gray leather elbow patches.’
    • ‘All I need is a cheap tweed coat with leather patches at my elbows and I could be dodgy salesman of the year.’
    • ‘All were equally worn with work and dressed in shabby clothing, layered with tears and patches.’
    • ‘It features a half-zip mock collar, elbow patches for durability and an extra rugged look, and a contrast trim along the inner collar, sleeves and hem.’
    • ‘For extra attention, select a cardigan with small pockets or leather patches on the elbows.’
    • ‘It was made of cheap leather patches haphazardly sewn together pieces of tanned hide.’
    • ‘We knew instinctively that anyone wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches was a history teacher and those wearing ponchos were over-zealous social workers.’
    • ‘You sew new patches on old, fragile cloth, it will tear around the patch and make the hole bigger.’
    • ‘There were rips, tears, and dirty patches all over them.’
    • ‘The paper will wrinkle slightly; if it tears, patch it with another piece.’
    • ‘I'll probably put leather patches on these ones.’
    • ‘They're usually so docile, chess players, with their pasty skin, skinny necks, elbow patches and eyeglasses.’
    • ‘There were mended patches all over the coat and she could tell it was very old, it smelled nice though.’
    • ‘He had a slight muscular build, which was covered by a dark blue winter coat with brown leather patches on the elbows.’
    • ‘Made from a soft wool blend, it features a gray, ribbed knit finish along the cuffs, collar and waistband, with brown suede patches on the elbows.’
    • ‘It's charcoal gray with light gray stitching, elbow patches and a large star patch on the front.’
    • ‘If his jackets weren't wool tweed, they had patches on the elbows.’
    • ‘Also, please note my tweed coat with leather elbow patches, which cements my authenticity and invites you to share with me your innermost secrets.’
    • ‘Even when a propshaft has been salvaged, there are normally strengthened patches on the keel where the bearings would have been mounted.’
    piece of cloth, piece of fabric, piece of leather, piece of material, reinforcement
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    1. 1.1 A pad or shield worn over a sightless or injured eye or an eye socket.
      • ‘He was rather plump, and wore a black patch over his right eye.’
      • ‘He was allegedly carjacked by Mr. Nichols in the parking garage and you can see that he is wearing a patch over his eye from the injuries in that incident.’
      • ‘He wears a black patch over the recently fitted plastic eye, but his dancing legs are strong.’
      • ‘He wore a black patch over his left eye while his good eye, hungry with greed, stared at Hitomi in a frightening star.’
      • ‘But, you can still pick out a sexy patch to cover up the gaping hole in your head, which thank goodness was discovered after we dilated your eyes!’
      cover, eyepatch, covering, pad, shield
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    2. 1.2 A piece of cloth sewn on to clothing as a badge or distinguishing mark.
      • ‘Since the end of OIF II, I have seen a lot of things happen with medals and badges and patches.’
      • ‘We rely on the identification patches on there to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys.’
      • ‘The Marines don't have all the funky badges and patches that the Army has, so they don't have the same issue.’
      • ‘It is not a fashion statement it is a cult statement in the same way that wearing a political rosette is, or that wearing a gang patch is.’
      • ‘Even among other service members who may wear combat patches on their right sleeves, the U.S. flag patch is always supposed to be at the top.’
      • ‘Boy Scouts wear the patch on the right chest pocket of their uniform, while Girl Scouts wear the patch on the back of their sash.’
      • ‘I casually open the door, hoping that CAG isn't present, and if he is, that it is so dark he can't see my face or my squadron patch.’
      • ‘In fact, badges or patches tended to disappear altogether, as the GI traded in his original issue field uniforms for replacements at irregular intervals.’
      • ‘Many wore American flags in straw hats and American patches over their hearts.’
      • ‘Nearby lies a mission patch torn from a Nasa space suit with the seven names of the crew running along the edge of the shuttle-shaped insignia.’
      • ‘Speaking of history, I notice the Orioles wearing 50-year anniversary patches on their sleeves.’
      • ‘Walking around, you can see soldiers wearing patches from scores of units.’
      • ‘A couple of weeks later I was on the U.S. Army home page and noticed a link to unit insignia and patches.’
      • ‘First of all, the Marines do have uniforms that have Velcro patches.’
      • ‘All plates, bowls, and flatware have the group patch superimposed over bands of Transportation Corps red and yellow along the rim.’
      • ‘The front of the jacket is decorated with leather patches depicting all five units involved in the Doolittle Raid.’
      • ‘How can we as soldiers place our combat patch over our country's flag?’
      • ‘A boy whose knapsack is covered in decorative patches says, ‘If there was a skate park we could go to, that would be awesome,’ his eyes lighting up.’
      • ‘The army cleverly arranged to have inserted among the legitimate insignia properly designed patches for most of the notional formations.’
      • ‘Following that meeting, Pershing directed all American divisions to design and wear their own distinctive shoulder patches.’
      emblem, insignia, badge, marking
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    3. 1.3 An adhesive piece of drug-impregnated material worn on the skin so that the drug can be absorbed gradually over a period of time.
      • ‘Smokers could go for alternatives such as sunflower seeds, apple slices, raisins, nicotine gum and patches to help them quit, he said.’
      • ‘From 30 to 50 percent of patients experience mild skin irritation under the patch.’
      • ‘Doctors call these drugs vasodilators and they are available in a variety of forms, including tablets, sprays, skin patches and ointments.’
      • ‘Do not try to trim or cut the adhesive patch to adjust the dosage.’
      • ‘Similar to a nicotine replacement patch, insulin patches placed on the skin would provide a continuous low dose of insulin.’
      • ‘She tried everything else - the arm patches, the nicotine gum - but none of them worked.’
      • ‘The testosterone will be delivered through a patch worn on the skin.’
      • ‘The service offers free specialist advice tailored to each individual; one-to-one and group support; advice on devices such as nicotine gum and patches.’
      • ‘For oestrogen-only treatment, tablets, patches, implants and skin gels are available.’
      • ‘Transdermal patches are thin medicated patches which are attached to the skin with adhesive.’
      • ‘Common side effects are skin redness when the patch is removed and restless sleep.’
      • ‘She was prescribed a very strong painkiller that she wore as a patch.’
      • ‘Transdermal patches, once they are standardized to achieve physiologic circulating androgen levels in women, will be helpful.’
      • ‘The contraceptive patch can cause skin irritation (itching and soreness) in some women.’
      • ‘Combined hormonal contraceptives are also available as an adhesive skin patch, which is worn for three weeks out of every four.’
      • ‘More recently, ocular inserts have been developed to provide continuous delivery of low levels of drugs, somewhat analogous to skin patches.’
      • ‘One option for transdermal administration when patients cannot tolerate morphine is the fentanyl patch.’
      • ‘United States approves contraceptive skin patch: The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first transdermal skin patch contraceptive.’
      • ‘These patches contain nicotine and cost roughly the same as cigarettes do.’
      • ‘For more serious travel sickness your doctor may prescribe patches containing hyoscine (an anti-nausea drug).’
    4. 1.4historical A small disk of black silk attached to the face, especially as worn by women in the 17th and 18th centuries for adornment.
      • ‘During the Enlightenment, fashionable dress, masks and masquerading, corsetry, and the wearing of beauty patches were part of everyday life.’
      • ‘The English and French gentry used patch boxes in which to keep beauty patches as well as patches to cover pox scars.’
  • 2A part of something marked out from the rest by a particular characteristic.

    ‘his hair was combed forward to hide a growing bald patch’
    • ‘Through the trees Maria could see deer and birds crossing through the patches of daylight that permeated the dense canopy of the pine and almond trees.’
    • ‘I look around at Briggs Stadium, at the worn patches in the outfield, the flakes of rust on the bolts that hold the seats in the concrete floors.’
    • ‘The heavily snow covered trees with a few patches of green looked spectacular.’
    • ‘The cliff is covered with patches of slick snow.’
    • ‘This idea hitting him, he reached up and pawed at his neck, finding that although it was no longer shaven, the hair on that patch was noticeably shorter.’
    • ‘Also, try to steer clear of the shoulder, bumpy patches and potholes, which can be tough on your tires.’
    • ‘Sure enough, he had the typical red blotchy patches, the fever, the harsh cough, the sore red eyes.’
    • ‘Visible in the lower image is a small patch of ripple marks.’
    • ‘Pale sunlight filters through the trees that overhang the water's edge, throwing veiled patches of gold onto the turgid brown river where cattle drink under the watchful eye of a young herdsman.’
    • ‘Watching her shake her head, he noticed to bright patches of red on her already bruised neck.’
    • ‘The grass seed pre-germinates in a special bag, after which you sprinkle it on to the bare earth - the patches should green up within a week.’
    • ‘Apply to the skin in circular movements paying particular attention to your knees, feet and elbows or any dry patches.’
    • ‘We stand on a worn patch of checkered linoleum, buying cokes.’
    • ‘Older leaves develop a characteristic mottling, or patches of discoloration.’
    • ‘I looked down at the used bandage in her hand, and saw it had a large patch of bright redness stained in the middle of it.’
    • ‘Fungal infections can have effects ranging from an irritating patch of itchy skin to a life threatening condition.’
    • ‘Siena's characteristic angular outlines and patches of light and dark carry well over a distance.’
    • ‘Giving it a hard rub with her finger she revealed a shiny patch so bright she could see herself in it.’
    • ‘He never seemed to worry about the bald patches…’
    • ‘The circular patch of bright material located at the centre of the crater is residual water ice.’
    blotch, mark, pop, spot, smudge, dot, speck, speckle, smear, stain, streak, stripe, blemish
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    1. 2.1 A small area or amount of something.
      ‘patches of bluebells in the grass’
      • ‘Before I finish this letter I must add that as we were finishing our lake walk we came across a large area of litter on a grassy patch under the trees, very unsightly.’
      • ‘Butterflyfish, angelfish and pufferfish cruised around and a zebra lionfish rested on a small patch of sand.’
      • ‘A little farther, I went into a low area and through a patch of green smartweed.’
      • ‘Red-tailed Hawks are found in almost every type of habitat, as long as there are open areas interspersed with patches of trees or other elevated perches.’
      • ‘It covers a large area in terms of several hundred square kilometres, but it's only in very small patches within that area.’
      • ‘A garage should have a dog of indiscriminate breed sleeping near the door and a persistent patch of weeds growing through the crack in the concrete out by the pumps.’
      • ‘Icy patches will occur in areas of seepage, otherwise no problems expected.’
      • ‘Further, types of edges that delimit grassland patches vary from one area to another, which can influence area sensitivity.’
      • ‘Although the patterned bilayer patches undergo a slight area expansion, they are then stable for weeks at room temperature.’
      • ‘Somalia has been destroyed as a country, it has been torn into patches which are run by rebel armies of tribal warlords.’
      • ‘It was a wild-eyed grey, still young judging by the dark patches still covering its coat.’
      • ‘His crop was planted over a wide area in small patches with a fair amount of tree cover.’
      • ‘Using the maps as a guide, farmers can treat just the weed patches with minimal amounts of the appropriate chemical.’
      • ‘When we walked in this area we were just leaving the grassy patch to walk down when we encountered a flock of fantails fluttering to and fro across the path in a kind of war dance defending their territory.’
      • ‘The facility is designed for its ability to be relocatable and offers the only bit of greenery in the area - a patch of grass imported straight from Australia.’
      • ‘Under experimental conditions, roots have been shown to respond to patches of fertility through increased branching of higher order laterals.’
      • ‘Sharp-tailed Grouse live in grassy areas with patches of trees in the northern Columbia Basin.’
      • ‘The time when every area had a patch of green and jumpers for goalposts is long gone.’
      • ‘It does best in disturbed forest patches with large amounts of edge or open canopy.’
      • ‘The big blue: from the air the islands appear as tiny patches of greenery surrounded by luminous circles of sand.’
  • 3A small piece of ground, especially one used for gardening.

    ‘they spent Sundays digging their vegetable patch’
    • ‘Selena decided to peak around the corner, maybe the three of them were having a late breakfast in the garden or just doing some work to prepare the vegetable patches for the winter.’
    • ‘Employees from the Bolton office of AXA Insurance spent days digging and planting in muddy patches of ground that had been churned up by students' feet at the school.’
    • ‘She scurried off into the kitchen, while Grandad stayed out in the garden, digging his vegetable patch.’
    • ‘And don't forget: If a patch of ground is not being used for the winter garden, plant a cover crop there.’
    • ‘I think they will work very nicely with what we have planned for next year in the vegetable garden patch.’
    • ‘If you have ever spent time weeding a garden, you know that as you create available patches of bare ground, you begin to imagine new plants where the weeds previously stood.’
    • ‘There was much more room outside, with outbuildings where hay was stored, pigsties, a flower garden and a vegetable patch.’
    • ‘In the first we'll aim to follow a rural isolationist lifestyle, doing our own thing in our own way in a stone-built cottage on a plot large enough to have a decent garden and vegetable patch.’
    • ‘He likes making compost heaps, and digging the resulting stuff into vegetable and flower patches.’
    • ‘Others features set to be added include a stream, camomile lawn, eucalyptus trees, picnic areas, a vegetable patch and herb gardens.’
    • ‘Was slightly shocked that after digging over the vegetable patch (about the size of a small bedroom) I was utterly knackered and in pain for days.’
    • ‘The sun has been shining, my neighbour has been in his garden farting and Poppy, my most excellent beagle has been digging up the vegetable patch.’
    • ‘One of my wildest dreams in life is to one day have a garden, a vegetable patch and an orchard.’
    • ‘The plan is to dig two vegetable patches and a flower bed, and then construct a new section of fence to give some privacy - today was just a digging day.’
    • ‘In front of the building, each flat has a short front garden beyond which there is a patch of open ground that extends all the to the road 40 yards away.’
    • ‘We have two lovely cats and they keep us great company, are clean and loving and, as I keep a vegetable patch dug, use our garden as their toilet.’
    • ‘He stood by the small patch of ground that was usually their garden for the year and watched the sun come up.’
    • ‘There is no smarter way to edge up a vegetable patch or kitchen garden than with box hedging.’
    • ‘Last year I created a patio garden in a small patch outside the kitchen door.’
    • ‘From the very beginning there are pictures of English vegetable gardens and Scottish cabbage patches - examples of a long-lived genre, the rural picturesque.’
    plot, area, piece, strip, row, lot, tract, parcel
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    1. 3.1British informal An area for which someone is responsible or in which they operate.
      ‘we didn't want any secret organizations on our patch’
      • ‘One woman on my patch called police fifty times in twelve months, and they attended every time. That's fifty crimes of violence for the politicians to wave about.’
      • ‘North Yorkshire is hardly the most hazardous patch to police, yet the force has the third worst record in the country for retirement on medical grounds.’
      • ‘Every now and then, an experience would serve as a reminder that intelligent marine mammals can be aggressive as well as friendly; that you must operate with respect in what is their patch.’
      • ‘‘One of the problems is that we have various organisations defending their own patch all the time,’ he said.’
      • ‘I'm hoping neither author moves into my own patch - black comedy - to hot up the competition.’
      • ‘A radical shake up of rural policing in the district will see the return of local Bobbies patrolling a beat and being responsible safety and security on their patch.’
      • ‘His patch covers the whole of the North of England from Birmingham upwards, Scotland and Northern Ireland.’
      • ‘Retained part-timers who decide to carry on working during the dispute will normally be asked only to cover their usual patch.’
      area, small area, isolated area, district, region, island, cluster, centre
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  • 4British informal A period of time seen as a distinct unit with a characteristic quality.

    ‘he may have been going through a bad patch’
    • ‘For the past two weeks I have been going through a bad patch.’
    • ‘Injuries and different selectors did come along and all players went through bad patches but he had been fit for the last five years and felt there was more left to chase other milestones along the way.’
    • ‘The team was going through a bit of a tough patch towards the end of the National League.’
    • ‘It is possible that this year our team is just hitting a bad patch and the future will be more promising.’
    • ‘He also had a bad patch over a holiday in Majorca as a guest of media people, though he broke no rules and the story was puffed up far beyond its importance.’
    • ‘Every team has a bad patch during a season and hopefully we had ours at the start.’
    • ‘The monarchy has been through bad patches in the past.’
    • ‘At the moment we are certainly going through a bad patch and ‘that was the week that was’ is an apt phrase to describe the last week when everything came in threes.’
    • ‘You are hoping that the company is incredibly cheap, as judged by the low PSR, and is actually able to recover from its bad patch.’
    • ‘This is particularly dedicated to anyone who's going through a bit of a tough patch at present.’
    • ‘A third Bankers' goal made it a harsh scoreline for York, who are going through a bad patch after a great start to the season.’
    • ‘They have to believe that the core business is going through a bad patch, from which it will recover.’
    • ‘She was extraordinarily supportive when I went through a bad patch some years back.’
    • ‘Last season, we had a bad patch in mid-campaign.’
    • ‘Perhaps he'd gone through a bit of a rough patch in grade 5 and in the years that followed.’
    • ‘But you always have a bad patch in a season and we are having ours now, hopefully.’
    • ‘You have to do that to get the best out of him, but he's just having a bad patch at the moment and we expect him to bounce back soon.’
    • ‘Liberalism had a bad patch in the late 20th century, not through lack of feelings, but through lack of arguments.’
    • ‘Word had reached me that he was going through a bad patch, hitting the bottle and living in a hostel for the homeless.’
    • ‘The possibility that the economy is going through one of its regular soft patches should not be discounted.’
    period, time, spell, phase, stretch, interval
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  • 5A temporary electrical or telephone connection.

    • ‘We also called the admiral's office and had a cellphone patch directly to his aide.’
    1. 5.1 A preset configuration or sound data file in an electronic musical instrument, especially a synthesizer.
      • ‘You can morph from one synth patch to another, resulting in some astonishing effects with voice, percussion and other instruments.’
      • ‘I tried all of the reverb patches on drums, vocals, electric guitars and keyboards and found them to have good dynamic responses.’
      • ‘B. All keyboard sounds must be edited in some way: no factory presets or pre-programmed patches are allowed.’
      • ‘This synth proves to be a very complete tool kit for sound and patch design and presents a unique sonic flavor that's not available elsewhere.’
      • ‘Auto-save happens after each recording pass and edit, and when storing a locate memory or mix scene, a patch preset or an FX preset.’
      • ‘The XV - 5050 has a great set of over 1,000 preset patches, and you can program your own to create more.’
      • ‘Particularly clever is the use of the extracted reverberation from the harp, used as an eerie synthesizer patch in its own right.’
      • ‘We're talking five-minute patches of overdriven Moog, bass-thumping and off-time drumbeats.’
      • ‘The unitary conductances in patches with a single active channel are stable for the durations of the recordings.’
      • ‘Lodder opts for some slightly cheesy synth patches on occasion, but he does a good job of glueing the whole together with big, churchy organ chords and squelchy analogue synths.’
      • ‘Although this example is itself trivial, jMax is capable of far more complex synthesis patches.’
      • ‘I should be concentrating more on when particular synth patches reemerge, as I think this would be interesting.’
      • ‘His trademark chromatic patches are dull and muddy.’
      • ‘You can use it as a control device and make a patch that actually synthesizes the notes.’
      • ‘Today he employs various Max / MSP patches to construct interminable tracks of grid-like tub beatings.’
  • 6Computing
    A small piece of code inserted into a program to improve its functioning or to correct an error.

    • ‘The loopback patch is a source code patch to the loopback driver and associated utilities.’
    • ‘CERT's advisory contains a links to patches from software distros that contain OpenSSH code and to OpenSSH project's own update.’
    • ‘This format is mostly just for human patch browsing, and the patch program doesn't actually support it.’
    • ‘This is a feature in Windows that downloads the software patches automatically onto computers.’
    • ‘The patch modifies this function and adds the following lines of code.’
    • ‘Can you give some examples of the sorts of applications that your patch can noticeably improve the performance of?’
    • ‘By now, anyone with a Windows computer knows that hardly a week passes without a software patch / hotfix/update issued by Microsoft to fix a problem in its products.’
    • ‘The patch corrects flaws that could allow malicious users to execute code on your computer.’
    • ‘One of the most common methods of doing kernel work is to use the patch and diff programs.’
    • ‘I have done that before: the linux Jumbo patches that included IDE DMA code and other kernel fixes that had been rejected initially by Linus.’
    • ‘He needs to go online to download a patch to get his DSL working.’
    • ‘Microsoft also has a software patch to fix the flaw and said users who have the Service Pack 2 security update for Windows XP are not affected.’
    • ‘I also assume the reader is comfortable applying source patches and compiling programs.’
    • ‘Because this is an error at core programming level a patch would be hard to find for the freeware version of ZoneAlarm.’
    • ‘To apply the changes specified in the diff output, a user need only run it through the patch program.’
    • ‘It's not clear when wireless LAN vendors will make available Fast Packet Keying as either a software or firmware patch.’
    • ‘Ensure that you have downloaded the correct patch.’
    • ‘Users are strongly advised to download and install the latest software patches from Microsoft and to update their anti-virus definitions as soon as possible.’
    • ‘Dell Computer will issue a patch to fix performance issues on some of its Axim PDAs on Wednesday, according to company officials.’
    • ‘SE Linux is comprised of a kernel patch and patches to utility programs such as login and cron.’


[with object]
  • 1Mend or strengthen (fabric or an item of clothing) by putting a piece of material over a hole or weak point in it.

    ‘her jeans were neatly patched’
    • ‘The teams of engineering experts planned to drop sandbags and boulders into several large gaps that had appeared on Friday in a part of the Industrial Canal levee that had been patched after Hurricane Katrina.’
    • ‘He set us to work, then hauled me over and got me to help him patching a suit.’
    • ‘She finally managed to find a pair of jeans that were actually patched, albeit with a striped piece of cloth that she thought looked ridiculous, and a short sleeved green shirt that was blank on the front.’
    • ‘The road at Deerpark, Ballymorris will be patched.’
    • ‘The dark gray trousers were patched at the knee, while his linen shirt and wool jacket showed signs of wear and less-than-skilled repairs.’
    • ‘For everyone who has read the poem knows that it's about a philosophy towards life, and not merely patching a wall.’
    • ‘She patched her clothing and then let Mike buy her lunch at the store.’
    • ‘The main road through Nurney, which requires repairs, has been patched.’
    • ‘He was not terrifying in the least in his appearance; his shirt was made of burlap and his boots were muddy and his trousers were patched.’
    • ‘Even Jesus' analogy of patching an old cloak with a new piece of cloth is unfamiliar in today's world of preshrunk and synthetic materials.’
    • ‘His robes were patched purple silk, and across his knees he held a stick.’
    • ‘She was sorting through Ian's worn practice clothes and mending or patching.’
    • ‘Traditionally, patching fabric together was about recycling.’
    • ‘For example, if the roofing has been patched or repaired in any way, or if the neighbors have seen workmen on the roof, that could indicate prior knowledge on the sellers' part.’
    • ‘I would think that living in a vibrant neighborhood wouldn't be all that good; you'd constantly be patching the cracks in the plaster.’
    • ‘Look up, though, and you'll see just how old the buildings are, many with wobbly old tiled roofs that've been patched and propped over the years, and good for another couple of centuries with a bit of love and care.’
    • ‘Why waste time patching the road when they could have resurfaced it all?’
    • ‘It was no good just patching it, it would have to be done properly with good foundations.’
    • ‘A week after the mayor had to suspend his repopulation schedule, the water is being pumped, the levees being patched and the return is on.’
    • ‘Hours before the worst of Hurricane Rita ravages the Texas and Louisiana coasts, water overwhelms or overtops a newly patched levee.’
    mend, repair, put a patch on, cover, sew, sew up, stitch, stitch up
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    1. 1.1Medicine Place a patch over (a good eye) in order to encourage a lazy eye to work.
      ‘the amblyopia may be treated by patching the good eye’
      • ‘The perioperative nurse applies another dose of topical anesthetic drops to the surgical eye and may patch the nonsurgical eye.’
      • ‘By patching the good eye, you're effectively making someone use their lazy eye.’
      • ‘Bed rest with elevation of the head and patching of the affected eye may prevent the frequent complication of rebleeding, but the data are unclear.’
      • ‘Treatment may be surgical for muscle imbalance, use of refractive lenses, or patching the normal eye to allow the affected eye to regain strength and vision.’
      • ‘However, recent evidence indicates that patching may increase discomfort and decrease rate of healing.’
      • ‘With early detection, vision can be restored by patching the properly aligned eye, which forces the misaligned one to work.’
      • ‘The traditional model of patching for amblyopia tends to be one in which the closer vision is to normal the less treatment is given.’
      • ‘For decades, patching the unaffected eye has been the mainstay of amblyopia treatment.’
      • ‘The long-established practices of early childhood screening for amblyopia and patching of the dominant eye are not supported by evidence of good clinical outcome.’
      • ‘Both groups of children in the study performed one hour a day of ‘near’ work, such as coloring, tracing, reading, and crafts, while their eye was patched.’
      • ‘Both of the patients' eyes had to be patched, which completely obstructed vision.’
    2. 1.2Computing Correct, enhance, or modify (a routine or program) by inserting a patch.
      • ‘Network upgrades are an interesting way of patching an operating system and its applications.’
      • ‘Changing system configurations and patching software can eliminate a fair number of risks at little cost.’
      • ‘According to this line of thinking, disclosure should be delayed by up 30 days to give software vendors time to patch a system.’
      • ‘Of course, Sasser was widely known, so most companies have updated anti-virus software and have patched their systems - which is why we are doing a pen test.’
      • ‘It found the Defense Department lacks a coordinated approach to ensuring that its systems are patched against the latest software vulnerabilities, and to conducting security assessments.’
      • ‘Subjects covered will include advising users to maintain up-to-date anti-virus signatures, patch operating systems and use firewalls.’
      • ‘Uninstalling Easy CD Creator is wiser, though make sure you've thoroughly patched the Roxio program with all its available updates before removing it.’
      • ‘The HIToolbox human interface API has been patched to prevent the VoiceOver accessibility app from reading out the contents of secure text-entry fields such as passwords.’
      • ‘A number of computer bugs were patched last week.’
      • ‘The holes have been discovered from analysis of an existing link on the Internet and a fully functional demonstration of the exploit have been produced and been shown to affect even fully patched versions of Explorer.’
      • ‘Sophos has warned users not to panic regarding a serious security vulnerability found in versions of Microsoft Windows, but to calmly ensure all computers are correctly patched.’
      • ‘The vulnerability has been confirmed on a fully patched system with Internet Explorer 6.0 and Microsoft Windows XP SP1 / SP2.’
      • ‘The exploit was so bad that it brought the server down to its knees, and it took me over a week to write a program just to patch the problem and keep things under control.’
      • ‘Many vendors include vulnerable Sendmail servers as part of their software distributions, hence the need to patch Unix and Linux systems as well as dedicated mail servers.’
      • ‘Keep up to date on patching your operating systems and applications.’
      • ‘Until this year, newly found security holes in operating systems and programs were patched before viruses and worms could be written to exploit them.’
      • ‘Last year, students were given information at that point on how to patch their operating systems.’
      • ‘And it's up to each of us to protect our own little corner of cyberspace, by patching our software and being wary of unsolicited e-mail.’
      • ‘Maryland failed to carry out other key recommendations as well, such as patching the Windows 2000 software used on its central computer system, and installing a firewall to protect that system.’
      • ‘Do you plan to release another patch before the expansion or will the expansion also patch the main program?’
    3. 1.3 Cover small areas of (a surface) with something different, causing it to appear variegated.
      ‘the grass was patched with sandy stretches’
      • ‘Touch up jobs on varnished, lacquered or painted surfaces are likely to appear patched.’
      • ‘The scars we moved past are striking, the limestone is angled at 45 degrees and popular with crows, patched with lichens and softened by mosses.’
  • 2patch someone/something upinformal Treat someone's injuries or repair the damage to something, especially hastily.

    ‘they did their best to patch up the gaping wounds’
    • ‘There was a hospital, and I went in and they patched me up.’
    • ‘He had leg trouble after running here last year and we have kept patching him up.’
    • ‘They patched me up and said I should go to Wythenshawe, because they were able to do stitches there which would minimise the scarring.’
    • ‘But it was a Migra doctor who patched him up after he tangled with the fence.’
    • ‘She really got me back and patched me up mentally and physically.’
    • ‘Pinned down under bombardment outside the strategic town of Cambes, evacuation of the wounded was not easy so Jack was patched up and restored to duty.’
    • ‘She was ordered off court to patch up the injured child and found a first aid box containing iodine.’
    • ‘The doctors patched him back up and gave him the bullet to keep before he was sent back out to fight.’
    • ‘Always good to see London's essential utilities being patched up and repaired swiftly.’
    • ‘I cursed some more, managed to staunch the flow, hopped around like a deranged Morris dancer until I could reach a plaster, patched myself up and went back to bed.’
    • ‘I grabbed my first aid kit, wiped the wound clean and patched him up with a bandage before the ambulance arrived.’
    • ‘School standards minister David Miliband said buildings needed to be rebuilt and refurbished on a much larger scale, not just patched up and mended.’
    • ‘The BB Nurse patched me up and I lived to fall off another day.’
    • ‘The ship's medics tended to our wounds, patching us up just as the ship was undergoing repairs.’
    • ‘They patched me up and sent me on to a regional hospital in Pistoia, Italy, and from there to Casablanca, from there to Miami, Florida, from there to Topeka, Kansas.’
    • ‘Anyway, they patched me up with medical superglue which was in its infancy at that stage.’
    • ‘Adamson sat in a chair in one corner of the tent looking at a map while his teammates ate and patched themselves up.’
    • ‘Larne was towed to Poros and beached, and there she stayed for three months while she was patched up.’
    • ‘He explained to the Western People that an old dinghy, which has been patched up by his son on the morning of the accident, proved to be the rescue vehicle for the drowning family.’
    • ‘One unlucky 7-year-old a few streets away gets burnt by a spent bullet, is patched up by a US first aid post and sent home.’
    repair, mend, fix hastily, do a makeshift repair on, fix temporarily, repair temporarily
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1patch something together Construct something hastily from unsuitable components.
      ‘lean-tos patched together from aluminum siding and planks’
      figurative ‘they were trying to patch together an arrangement for cooperation’
      • ‘There wasn't enough dough to finish it properly, so Warner patched it together and dumped it in theatres sans marketing campaign.’
      • ‘Still, I would have patched something together for season.’
      • ‘As Pepper tells the tale, he hasn't touched his horn in six months, the mouthpiece has rotted away, and he has to patch it together with sticky tape.’
      • ‘In his case this meant obscure and crackly old vinyl records from his own collection, which he would selectively sample then take the results and patch them together to make his own songs.’
      • ‘A filternetwork provides a canvas on which icons representing synthesis primitives are patched together to create a processing or synthesis chain.’
      • ‘They say they've been working for years to help poor people find shelter and patch their lives together, only to see the ‘revitalization’ movement snapping up what little low-cost housing is available.’
      • ‘Instead, components are patched together just to keep the system running.’
      • ‘Carlow began to show signs of patching their game together as Waterford's defence became less than convincing.’
      • ‘Taking bits and pieces of longer works and patching them together in an anthology is usually legitimized by claims of getting to the essence of the matter and saving time as an ‘expert’ peels away the nonessential.’
      • ‘Operational techniques were patched together as quickly as possible.’
      • ‘But I somehow patched it together and decided to go forward anyway: spreading 2 Tbs of apricot jam (I used apricot ginger jam from Whole Foods) across the dough then sprinkling 1/2 cup of the filling over it.’
      • ‘She studied two photographs and went to work carving out his various parts, patching the parts together with 2-part expanding foam.’
      • ‘People's lives are patched together by so many different forces - language, chance, class, trauma - that the entire city begins to resemble the Frankenstein-type monster who will lumber along the streets.’
      • ‘It buys us the time to examine how the hospital works, so we aren't always desperately scrambling from day-to-day, patching things together as best we can.’
      • ‘There was no use for them, so scenes were patched together simply to get them in the film.’
      • ‘Later, these multitudinous LANs were patched together via routers in a helter-skelter manner.’
      • ‘It was written in two stages, in January and in March, and he patched the versions together.’
      • ‘Residents of Khayelitsha are prohibited from building permanent structures on the sandy plots, so houses are patched together with undersized beams, laminate wood, and rusty corrugated metal sheets.’
      • ‘About another mile down the road, tents are patched together with various styles of cloth.’
      • ‘And I think it's going to be pretty good if we ever have time to patch it together -’
      prepare hastily, prepare roughly, make hastily, make roughly, put together hastily, put together roughly, scribble, improvise, devise, contrive, rig, rig up, patch together, jerry-build
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2patch something up Restore peaceful or friendly relations after a quarrel or dispute.
      ‘any ill feeling could be patched up with a phone call’
      ‘they sent him home to patch things up with his wife’
      • ‘So I can help you patch things up with him to that capacity!’
      • ‘I've been reading lately that the French are trying to patch things up with the U.S., but I guess they've abandoned that strategy, haven't they?’
      • ‘Laura, who had spent the day before her disappearance filling in an application form to join the police force, had a ‘falling out’ in the Crooked Billet with a man, but that had been patched up, her father said.’
      • ‘But before Prom, I needed to patch things up with Charlene.’
      • ‘He even encouraged me to patch things up with Kathy - he told me that he can certainly understand how she must feel now since he used to feel that way about her.’
      • ‘Sorry Kyle, I was just anxious to see if I could patch things up with Craig, I didn't mean to ignore you.’
      • ‘Call Alicia tonight and patch things up with her.’
      • ‘‘I can't say we've patched everything up,’ Byrne shrugs.’
      • ‘And though to many arguing may not have seemed like the best bonding activity, Morgan believed that every argument that was patched up strengthened a relationship.’
      • ‘I might have a guest over for Christmas Eve dinner with my family, depending on whether she's patched up with her boyfriend or not.’
      • ‘A few words can make a big difference - if she hears it from you, she might finally start to realize what she's doing wrong, and start trying to patch things up with you.’
      • ‘December is coming soon… we'll patch up everything that needs to be patched up then and hopefully walk away from this closer and happier than ever before.’
      • ‘If you're Shaun, you grab a cricket bat, gather your loved ones, and make a run for your favourite pub, hoping all the while that you just might patch things up with your ex-girlfriend on what's probably your last day on earth.’
      • ‘Yet now he is going to jail for seven years and has only 24 hours to try and patch things up with his father, hang out with his oldest friends and try and find out who tipped off the cops.’
      • ‘Desperately unhappy, Huey recruits his best friend Aldo in an ill-advised scheme to patch things up with his ex-wife. The prospects for success seem unlikely.’
      • ‘The father in ‘Powder,’ for all his fervent desire to patch things up with his estranged wife and bring the family together, flounders on two counts.’
      • ‘That's only fair since he was the one who told me to try and patch things up with you.’
      • ‘I'm going to go patch things up with her after school today.’
      • ‘I'd rather not ruin things with him to possibly try to patch things up with you.’
      • ‘She'll be back in a few months at the most and hopefully Father will patch things up with her.’
      reconcile, make up, settle, conciliate
      View synonyms
  • 3Connect by a temporary electrical, radio, or telephonic connection.

    ‘Ralph had patched her through to the meeting by walkie-talkie’
    • ‘When a customer drives through, they'll be patched through to Grand Forks, North Dakota to place the order.’
    • ‘Although consumers still need to wait for the phone company to patch their line into Covad's equipment at the central office there is no other delay.’
    • ‘The secretary said in that sugary sweet voice that she was patching him through to the main office, and to hold on just a sec, hon.’
    • ‘Then in an ideal world we could perhaps patch this into a wireless network, so that passing geeks could genuinely play Tetris on the side of the building from their laptops.’
    • ‘The dispatcher can arrange conference calls via radio or by satellite datalink if we're over the ocean, patching us through to a doctor, maintenance facility or security specialist.’
    • ‘But they patched me through to a disconnected line.’
    • ‘I made several more noises, and was not only immediately patched through to a technician who solved my problem, but I received a free copy of the software upgrade CD.’
    • ‘Stern tapped a few keys, patching him through to the five docked starfighters.’
  • 4Computing
    Correct, enhance, or modify (a routine or program) by inserting a patch.


  • not a patch on

    • informal Greatly inferior to.

      ‘he no longer looked so handsome—he wasn't a patch on Peter’
      • ‘Even as she lay beside him, Erin couldn't help but notice his lean body wasn't a patch on Cade's hard-muscled form.’
      • ‘It IS indeed very cold at the moment, but I think not a patch on the ice storms mentioned in previous weeks by our friends on the US East Coast.’
      • ‘It's not a patch on what I have at the moment, but perhaps it'll grow on me.’
      • ‘The line-up of performers is - in theory at least - not too bad, although it's definitely not a patch on the original line-up.’
      • ‘It's not a patch on the dream dashes from the likes of BMW and Audi, but it is well-made, unusual rather than bland, and the steering wheel - an almost direct lift from the old Three - is a comfortable leather affair.’
      • ‘The problem is their PR machine is not a patch on that of Royal Bank of Scotland.’
      • ‘You realize that being clever hasn't got a patch on being rich.’
      • ‘As such, it's not a patch on the imported 1960s Oxford button-downs which I used to buy from Wild Clothing in the Eighties, for that authentic US preppy look.’
      • ‘So here we are 21 years later, and even though the latest series sees the lads in Cuba and is not a patch on the first two, it's still the only series I feel obliged to watch.’
      • ‘I'm not terribly impressed; it's not a patch on the trio of trailers which are included with the soundtrack CD for Volume 1, which contain plenty of footage which is clearly from the second volume.’
      • ‘It's not bad, but it's not a patch on Cities of Foam - driving guitar line and echoey, pretentious-sounding sub-Bono vocals.’
      • ‘To my horror there are no redeeming features left, the food is toxic, the childfriendly status has gone and the beer is not a patch on what it was.’
      • ‘Last Sunday's annual Scottish football writers' bash - a word that has proved all too appropriate in the past when egos and drink mixed to ill-effect - sadly was not a patch on its former rumbustious incarnations.’
      • ‘Well, little do these West Coast business school evangelists realise that our William was not a patch on Scotland's own national poet as a popular guide to the hidden secrets of managerial success.’
      • ‘Like the 25,000 of the Creative Scotland Awards, it's not a patch on a professorial salary.’
      • ‘I can honestly say I found myself on a big night out in Newcastle the following night in a club thinking - not bad but not a patch on Kendal Town Hall.’
      • ‘The skiing itself was good, but not a patch on St Anton.’
      • ‘The Sopranos was also excellent last night even though it was a quiet introduction to Season 4 and not a patch on some previous episodes.’
      • ‘It was OK, but not a patch on what I'd seen live. I loyally bought the next couple of singles, but quickly lost interest.’


Late Middle English: perhaps from a variant of Old French pieche, dialect variant of piece ‘piece’.