Main definitions of patter in English

: patter1patter2

patter1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Make a repeated light tapping sound.

    ‘a flurry of rain pattered against the window’
    • ‘Remember, you said to take a day at a time, treasure the little things - like listening to the rain pattering on the window pane, like spending time looking at the sunset.’
    • ‘The sound of rain pattering on the roof woke Miles up.’
    • ‘Rain pattered against the windows of the castle as its inhabitants braced for the true storm that was coming.’
    • ‘The rain pattered on the windowsill in a dull rhythm.’
    • ‘The rain was still pattering down softly on her window.’
    • ‘A light rain pattered down over them as they rode along, talking about nothing in particular, enjoying each other's company.’
    • ‘A light spill of acid rain was pattering against his window.’
    • ‘Rain patters against the glass with soft, almost soothing sounds, mocking me.’
    • ‘The sound of rain pattering on the pavement added to my feeling of hopelessness.’
    • ‘Rain lightly pattered on the windows, the sky the lightest shade of grey.’
    • ‘The rain pattered on the wide windows beside her.’
    • ‘I should perhaps warn you that if I don't get any votes, I might just end up doing nothing but listening to the rain pattering against the window.’
    • ‘The sky was a grey feathery mass; the rain pattered down in little stinging freezing drops.’
    • ‘The rain pattered loudly against the window, lulling Amber out of sleep.’
    • ‘Rain pattered on the windows, fighting to come inside, but no matter how hard the raindrops hurled themselves at the glass, they always bounced right off.’
    • ‘The sound of rain pattered above her, but her face was dry. ‘I must be inside,’ she thought.’
    • ‘Thunder clapped overhead as rain drops began to patter against the windows.’
    • ‘The rain was pattering on the side of the building.’
    • ‘With rain pattering gently off the window of her small bedroom, the fourteen year-old girl clambered out of bed to face the first day of term.’
    • ‘Outside, rain was pattering against the windowpanes.’
    pitter-patter, tap, drum, clatter, beat, pound, rattle, throb, pulsate, rat-a-tat, go pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, clack, click-clack, thrum
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    1. 1.1 Run with quick light steps.
      ‘plovers pattered at the edge of the marsh’
      • ‘I nodded a little bit and pattered back to the couch.’
      • ‘I handed her the pen and paper and she thanked me quickly, pattering back over to her table.’
      • ‘Mum patters into the room and hops onto my bed, crossing her legs in front of her.’
      • ‘I heard the guards pattering down the stairs at top speed.’
      • ‘Amy pattered in, holding Bob in her arms, and winced.’
      • ‘I grabbed it without hesitation and pattered down the hall behind him.’
      • ‘Cerbreo came pattering up then, a frown on his face.’
      • ‘She pattered across cobbles and came to the main square.’
      • ‘Instead of her father's big booming steps, small feet pattered against the carpet.’
      • ‘I ran to the stair chamber, listening to the footfalls of the figure come back down the stairs with another pair of feet pattering quickly behind.’
      • ‘He pattered off again - a strange glow seemingly emanating from his coat.’
      • ‘He leapt to his feet and came pattering over to me, followed closely by Chestnut.’
      • ‘Feet pattered down the stairs, and then strong, slender hands were ripping his sleeve apart.’
      • ‘And then I hear the sound of little feet and they aren't pitter pattering, they are running.’
      • ‘Benjamin pattered across the kitchen to his mother and grabbed her skirts.’
      • ‘But I can't make myself pause and inhale the view today, instead I patter down the steps towards the rose gardens and another wedding.’
      • ‘‘Have fun,’ his mother called after him, as he ran out the cave: his paws pattering on the fallen snow.’
      • ‘Bare feet pattered on cold stone, the quick breaths shallow from exhaustion, Ayla and Dylan ran on in pursuit of the two shadowy figures.’
      • ‘We heard Natalie pattering up the hall, so I decided to pull away.’
      scurry, scuttle, skip, trip, tiptoe, walk lightly, walk on tiptoe
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noun

  • A repeated light tapping.

    ‘the rain had stopped its vibrating patter above him’
    • ‘With a whisper, then a patter, then a roar, the rain starts again.’
    • ‘The typewriter's tapping turns into the patter of rain as the story he's writing fades into the picture.’
    • ‘The patter of light running footsteps sounded behind him.’
    • ‘I understand pain, appreciate laughter, treasure the patter of rain and the song of the wind more than ever before.’
    • ‘The lesson plodded on, the patter of rain drumming on the windows filled the room with its soft noise.’
    • ‘The patter of the rain echoed throughout the large building.’
    • ‘Closing his eyes, Darien shut out the patter of the rain and listened instead for the sound of guards in the hallway beyond the window ledge.’
    • ‘I hear a patter of footsteps, and Jenni comes up behind me.’
    • ‘Outside, she could hear the steady patter of rain against the roof.’
    • ‘All I can hear is the light patter of the rain outside, and the sound of water dripping from my drenched self onto the car seat.’
    • ‘They waited for two days in the basement, making as little noise as possible, hearing the tiny patters of their feet finally leave the building.’
    • ‘I heard their patters of footsteps stop near my door.’
    • ‘Her voice echoed across the field and Delia felt a small patter of rain on her nose.’
    • ‘The nurse left with the light patter of feet, leaving Mallory and Andrew alone once again.’
    • ‘Three hours later, the last people were gone, and the rain was a steady patter on the roof.’
    • ‘He bunched himself together under the patters of rain.’
    • ‘Sound, be it the music of a violin or the patter of rain on a rooftop, is vibrations in the air around us.’
    • ‘The only sounds at ten in the morning are the hum of the automatic milking machine and the patter of rain on tin roofing.’
    • ‘Children, dressed in threadbare clothes and their arms laden with gifts, seemed oblivious to the steady patter of rain and surprised at their good fortune.’
    • ‘The bad weather started a little after noon yesterday, a steady patter of sleet that lasted for hours, but didn't accumulate.’
    pitter-patter, tapping, pattering, drumming, drumbeat, clatter, beat, beating, tattoo, pounding, throb, pulsation, rat-a-tat, pit-a-pat, clack, click-clack, clacketing, thrum, thrumming
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: frequentative of pat.

Pronunciation

patter

/ˈpædər//ˈpadər/

Main definitions of patter in English

: patter1patter2

patter2

noun

  • 1Rapid or smooth-flowing continuous talk, such as that used by a comedian or salesman.

    ‘slick black hair, flashy clothes, and a New York line of patter’
    • ‘He worked up a good bit of patter with the audience and even managed to get a laugh when recounting a story that involved switching into a different language.’
    • ‘We had it all: fumbled lines, clichés, bad patter.’
    • ‘And he has a nice line in self-deprecating patter.’
    • ‘What follows, for about 45 minutes, are bizarre little set pieces, punctuated by ample, generally clever patter.’
    • ‘It should be avoided at all costs, never mind how slick the sales patter is.’
    • ‘Instead they turned to a man with a sun tan, newly polished teeth, a nice line in patter and a keen sense of the politics of the FA.’
    • ‘I had to give a 15-minute show with patter to demonstrate my skills and they accepted me.’
    • ‘Some of the sequences have more words per panel than is necessary: these are people who live by patter, after all, so you wanna see 'em using this to the fullest.’
    • ‘It is patter, further marred by a condescending tone.’
    • ‘And, as always, you can try your patter on the audience with the $50 joke competition.’
    • ‘But after this pile-up of patter, the best he can do is to accept that the poor creature is incorrigible.’
    • ‘But I'm a sucker for the smooth sales patter of the art dealers.’
    • ‘My stage patter is tireless, kinetic and I sometimes exhaust myself and, yes, sometimes I wear dashikis and use street slang.’
    • ‘Is it any wonder their sales patter is slick with comments about the ‘savvy’ Irish buyers who ‘drive hard bargains’.’
    • ‘He has a line in patter that goes down well with the American media, and most importantly, possesses the talent to back it all up.’
    • ‘He is thoroughly dapper: all straw boater and braces and a good line in patter.’
    • ‘The lender will usually come up with its own estimate of rental income, which tends to be more realistic than the sales patter of letting agents.’
    • ‘That said, we all agree that a gag works best when the punchline is not telegraphed, and when the comedian's patter at least feigns originality.’
    • ‘You quickly realise that you need a line of patter, of questions, of genuine interest peppered with observations, to break through those socially unacceptable pauses.’
    • ‘I'm talking about the equally prosaic patter of ‘No problem.’’
    rambling, ramblings, prattle, prating, blather, blither, drivel, chatter, jabber, gabble, babble, glib talk, monologue
    pitch, sales pitch, sales talk, line, spiel
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    1. 1.1 The special language or jargon of a profession or other group.
      ‘he picked up the patter from watching his dad’
      • ‘The young people of Spain are becoming impressed with bullfighting again, the language of the fight part of their hip patter.’
      • ‘Rhyming slang was part of the general patter of traders and others, used as much for amusement as for secret communication.’
      manner of speaking, way of speaking, speech, language, idiom, vocabulary, jargon, parlance, argot, patois, cant, -speak, dialect, vernacular, idiolect, phraseology, terminology
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    2. 1.2 Rapid speech included in a song, especially for comic effect.
      as modifier ‘a patter song of invective’
      • ‘His diction, even in the most demanding patter songs, was wonderful.’
      • ‘His diction, even in the most demanding patter songs (for example the Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song in Iolanthe), was wonderful.’
      • ‘Impeccable diction (even in patter songs), timing, and mimicry contributed to memorable character-monologues.’
      • ‘He put on plays with his staff and fellows, delighting that he could dress in funny costumes and sing patter songs.’
      • ‘He has perfect clarity in the fastest patter arias that would leave most bass-baritones tripping over themselves.’
      • ‘In Glasgow, pantos are a series of song and dance numbers strung together with a bit of patter.’
      • ‘With his rambling between-song patter he fills in much of the background to his tale.’
      • ‘For all the score's mad energy, the dramatic shapes are never in doubt, the climaxes are effective and the syllabic patter even starts to sound like real conversation, comic yet frantic.’
      • ‘My between-song patter is useless, it's met with a rising wave of indistinct yelling and conversations with friends who must be across the room.’
      • ‘It is astonishing to hear him sing his section of the Act Two patter trio in a single breath.’
      • ‘I tried to imagine how a translator had struggled with the patter songs, and why?’
      • ‘He spends his send-off correcting the grammar of the patter song his patrons have written for him.’
      • ‘In a little over two hours, he ran through more than 30 of his greatest songs, punctuating them with hilarious, self-deprecating patter which had the audience in stitches.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Talk at length without saying anything significant.

    ‘she pattered on incessantly’
    • ‘She pattered on and on as we walked out the ramp to the airplane and were seated in the last row of the First Class section.’
    prattle, ramble, prate, blather, blether, blither, drivel, rattle, chatter, jabber, gabble, babble
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Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘recite (a prayer, charm, etc.) rapidly’): from paternoster. The noun dates from the mid 18th century.

Pronunciation

patter

/ˈpædər//ˈpadər/