Definition of patera in US English:


nounPlural paterae

  • 1A broad, shallow dish used in ancient Rome for pouring libations.

    • ‘The most exciting feature of the patera is the inscription.’
    • ‘Originally, he may have been pouring a libation from a patera, as is common in similar sacrifice scenes belonging to this iconographic topos.’
    • ‘Other antiques included an enamelled patera that might have been anywhere between 100 and 150 years old when deposited, and glass vessels that had also seen long use.’
    • ‘The Bath patera can be seen in the Roman Baths Museum, and the Amiens patera in the Musée de Picardie-Amiens.’
    1. 1.1Architecture A flat round ornament resembling a shallow dish.
  • 2A broad, shallow bowl-shaped feature on a planet's surface.


Latin, from patere ‘be or lie open’.