(Of a police officer or security official) pass the hands over someone’s clothing in a search for concealed items such as weapons or illegal drugs.
More example sentences
- When police officers arrived, a passer-by pointed out where the man had run off to; the officers found him and patted him down.
- Then the two airmen led the suspect away to the hood of a patrol car, where they patted him down for weapons and drugs.
- John patted him down, but found nothing.
Definition of pat someone down in:
- The US English dictionary