I. pat ‧ tern 1 S2 W1 /ˈpæt ə n $ ˈpætərn/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: patron , from Medieval Latin patronus ; ⇨ ↑ patron ]
1 . the regular way in which something happens, develops, or is done:
Weather patterns have changed in recent years.
changing patterns of behaviour among students
The child showed a normal pattern of development.
They noticed patterns in the data.
A general pattern began to emerge.
Their descriptions seemed to follow a set pattern (=always develop in the same way) .
His behavior fits a pattern of violent acts.
a) a regularly repeated arrangement of shapes, colours, or lines on a surface, usually as decoration:
a black and white striped pattern
a pattern of dots
b) a regularly repeated arrangement of sounds or words:
A sonnet has a fixed rhyming pattern.
3 . [usually singular] a thing, idea, or person that is an example to copy:
The book set the pattern for over 40 similar historical romances.
4 . a shape used as a guide for making something, especially a thin piece of paper used when cutting material to make clothes:
a dress pattern
5 . a small piece of cloth, paper etc that shows what a larger piece will look like SYN sample
• • •
▪ a pattern of behaviour
It's easy to get stuck in the same old pattern of behaviour.
▪ a pattern of development
Regular checks help to ensure that the child is following the normal pattern of development
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + pattern
▪ the same/a similar pattern
Each of the murders has followed a similar pattern.
▪ a different pattern
There are different patterns of social life in urban areas.
▪ the basic pattern
The basic pattern of her working day rarely changed.
▪ the general pattern
The general pattern of change has been one of upward mobility.
▪ the normal/usual pattern
As soon as she could, she resumed the normal pattern of her life.
▪ a set/fixed pattern (=one that does not change)
These incidents followed a set pattern.
▪ a weather pattern
Rising global temperatures are affecting weather patterns.
▪ a behaviour pattern
He studied animal behaviour patterns.
▪ a sleep pattern
Disturbed sleep patterns may be a symptom of depression.
▪ a speech pattern
Computers are now able to produce acceptable speech patterns.
▪ a spending pattern
The bank’s computer can detect unusual spending patterns.
▪ a pattern emerges (=can be seen when something is studied)
Although the numbers are small, a pattern began to emerge.
▪ follow a pattern
Her headaches did not seem to follow any particular pattern.
▪ fit a pattern ( also conform to a pattern formal ) (=match a particular pattern)
Last week’s bombing fits this pattern.
▪ establish a pattern
You should try to establish a pattern of working that suits you.
• • •
▪ pattern a regularly repeated arrangement of shapes, colours, or lines on a surface:
Some of his pictures use patterns of dots.
The lines formed a regular pattern.
▪ design a pattern used for decorating something, especially cloth or paper:
curtains with a floral design (=based on flowers)
▪ markings the coloured patterns and shapes on an animal’s fur, feathers, or skin:
the tiger’s black and orange markings
▪ motif formal a single shape that is regularly repeated to form a pattern which decorates something:
A triangle within a square is a very common motif in Muslim art.
The shield motif in the frescoes at Knossos is a religious, not a military, symbol.
II. pattern 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
1 . be patterned on/after something to be designed or made in a way that is copied from something else:
The exam system is patterned after the one used in Japan.
2 . literary to form a pattern on something:
Tiny white flowers patterned the ground like confetti.