Definition of patois in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpaˌtwä/
Pronunciation: /ˈpäˌtwä/ Pronunciation: /ˌpaˈtwä/ Pronunciation: /ˌpəˈtwä/

noun (plural same )

1The dialect of the common people of a region, differing in various respects from the standard language of the rest of the country: the nurse talked to me in a patois that even Italians would have had difficulty in understanding
More example sentences
  • Thus, a Frenchman who spoke Breton and French would not be considered bilingual because Breton is of low status and considered a patois rather than a language.
  • Today I wanted to talk about Bajan as a dialect or language or patois or whatever you wish to call it.
  • Corsican was designated as a patois, a provincial dialect.
vernacular, (local) dialect, regional language;
jargon, argot, cant
informal (local) lingo
1.1The jargon or informal speech used by a particular social group: the raunchy patois of inner-city kids
More example sentences
  • We have 1984 today; even if not in the form described by Orwell; since newspeak is replaced by the patois of the gang leaders and international body smugglers.
  • How do you develop a realistic-sounding slang patois?
  • At the other extreme, it is favoured by inner-city teens who appear to communicate entirely in an impenetrable mix of street slang and patois.


Mid 17th century: French, literally 'rough speech', perhaps from Old French patoier 'treat roughly', from patte 'paw'.

Words that rhyme with patois


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pat·ois

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