exactly to the point or purpose; apt; opportune:
a pat solution to a problem.
excessively glib; unconvincingly facile:
His answers were too pat to suit the examining board.
learned, known, or mastered perfectly or exactly:
to have something pat.
exactly or perfectly.
down pat, mastered or learned perfectly:
If you’re an actor, you have to get your lines down pat.
Also, down cold.
verb pats, patting, patted
to hit (something) lightly with the palm of the hand or some other flat surface: to pat a ball
to slap (a person or animal) gently, esp on the back, as an expression of affection, congratulation, etc
(transitive) to shape, smooth, etc, with a flat instrument or the palm
(intransitive) to walk or run with light footsteps
(informal) pat someone on the back, to congratulate or encourage someone
a light blow with something flat
a gentle slap
a small mass of something: a pat of butter
the sound made by a light stroke or light footsteps
(informal) pat on the back, a gesture or word indicating approval or encouragement
Also off pat. exactly or fluently memorized or mastered: he recited it pat
opportunely or aptly
exactly right for the occasion; apt: a pat reply
too exactly fitting; glib: a pat answer to a difficult problem
exactly right: a pat hand in poker
(Austral, informal) on one’s pat, alone; on one’s own
an informal name for an Irishman
c.1400, “a blow, stroke,” perhaps originally imitative of the sound of patting. Meaning “light tap with hand” is from c.1804. Sense of “that which is formed by patting” (as in pat of butter) is 1754, probably from the verb. Pat on the back in the figurative sense attested by 1804.
“aptly, suitably, at the right time,” 1570s, perhaps from pat (adj.) in sense of “that which hits the mark,” a special use from pat (n.) in sense of “a hitting” of the mark. The modern adjective is 1630s, from the adverb.
1560s, “to hit, throw;” meaning “to tap or strike lightly” is from 1714; from pat (n.). Related: Patted; patting. The nursery rhyme phrase pat-a-cake is known from 1823. Alternative patty-cake (usually American English) is attested from 1794 (in “Mother Goose’s Melody, or Sonnets for the Cradle,” Worcester, Mass.).
as a fem. proper name, short for Patricia. As a masc. proper name, short for Patrick; hence a nickname for any Irishman.
point after touchdown
In addition to the idiom beginning with pat
[pah-toh; Spanish pah-taw] /ˈpɑ toʊ; Spanish ˈpɑ tɔ/ noun 1. an Argentine game played by two teams of four on horseback, resembling a cross between polo and basketball, using a ball with six large leather handles, the object of which is to place or throw the ball through the opponent’s net that hangs from a […]
[pat-wah, pah-twah; French pa-twa] /ˈpæt wɑ, ˈpɑ twɑ; French paˈtwa/ noun, plural patois [pat-wahz, pah-twahz; French pa-twa] /ˈpæt wɑz, ˈpɑ twɑz; French paˈtwa/ (Show IPA) 1. a regional form of a language, especially of French, differing from the standard, literary form of the language. 2. a rural or provincial form of speech. 3. jargon; cant; […]
adjective phrase Abstaining from liquor; teetotal, at least temporarily: Monty didn’t drink, and Clifton James went on the wagon [1904+; first attested as on the water cart in 1902]
noun sweetheart Word Origin perhaps corruption of potato Usage Note slang, often used with ‘sweet’ n. “sweetheart, pretty girl,” colloquial American English, 1921, perhaps a corruption of potato (c.f. sweet potato). Sweet patootie is recorded from 1919 as a generic exclamation. n,n phr [1921+; perhaps fr a play on sweet potato suggested by sweetheart and […]