Meaning of PATTERN in English

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.

pattern of

changing patterns of behaviour among students

The child showed a normal pattern of development.

pattern in

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.

2 .

a) a regularly repeated arrangement of shapes, colours, or lines on a surface, usually as decoration:

a black and white striped pattern

pattern of

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

• • •


■ phrases

▪ 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


▪ 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.

■ verbs

▪ 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.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.