- 1Make a repeated light tapping sound: a flurry of rain pattered against the windowMore example sentences
- The sound of rain pattering on the roof woke Miles up.
- The sound of rain pattering on the pavement added to my feeling of hopelessness.
- The sound of rain pattered above her, but her face was dry. ‘I must be inside,’ she thought.
- 1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Run with quick light steps: he quickly pattered down the stairsMore example sentences
- 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.
- 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.
noun[in singular] Back to top
- A repeated light tapping: the plashing patter of steady rainMore example sentences
- The typewriter's tapping turns into the patter of rain as the story he's writing fades into the picture.
- 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.
- Three hours later, the last people were gone, and the rain was a steady patter on the roof.
the patter of tiny feet
- • humorous Used in reference to the presence or imminent birth of a child: I had given up hope of hearing the patter of tiny feetMore example sentences
- I can hear the patter of tiny feet in nine months time.
- Writing in the New York Times, he speaks out for the silent minority of men who wait in hope for the patter of tiny feet.
- His mum hopes to welcome the patter of tiny feet with the clicking of knitting needles.
early 17th century: frequentative of pat1.
- 1Rapid continuous talk, such as that used by a comedian or salesperson: take a friend with you to deflect the sales patterMore example sentences
rambling(s), prattle, prating, blather, blither, drivel, chatter, jabber, gabble, babble, glib talk, monologue; Scottish blether(sales) pitch, sales talk, line, spiel
- 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.
- Is it any wonder their sales patter is slick with comments about the ‘savvy’ Irish buyers who ‘drive hard bargains’.
- 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.
- 1.1The jargon of a profession or social group: he picked up the patter from watching his dadMore example sentences
- Rhyming slang was part of the general patter of traders and others, used as much for amusement as for secret communication.
- The young people of Spain are becoming impressed with bullfighting again, the language of the fight part of their hip patter.
- 1.2Rapid speech included in a song, especially for comic effect: [as modifier]: a patter song of invectiveMore example sentences
- Impeccable diction (even in patter songs), timing, and mimicry contributed to memorable character-monologues.
- His diction, even in the most demanding patter songs, was wonderful.
- He put on plays with his staff and fellows, delighting that he could dress in funny costumes and sing patter songs.
verb[no object] Back to top
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.