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verb [transitive] pat pronunciation in British English /pæt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepatting
past tensepatted
past participlepatted
  1. to touch someone gently several times with a flat hand to show that you care about them or want to make them feel better

    Stella patted his knee reassuringly.

    He patted the girl on the shoulder in an attempt to comfort her.

    1. a.
      if you pat your hair or skin you touch it gently to make it smooth, tidy, or dry

      He patted his already immaculate hair.

      After washing, pat your face dry with a soft towel.

    2. b.
      to touch something gently with a flat hand to draw attention to it, or to check that something is where you placed it

      ‘I’m hungry,’ he said, patting his stomach.

      ‘Come and sit here,’ she said, patting the seat beside her.

      He patted his trouser pocket to see if his keys were there.


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