Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

patch - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] patch pronunciation in British English /pætʃ/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    an area that is different from what surrounds it

    Icy patches are likely on some roads.

    The male has a distinctive white patch on its tail.

    There were damp patches on the ceiling.

    patch of:

    We sat down in a patch of shade.

  2. 2
    a piece of ground, especially one where you grow fruit or vegetables, or where a particular plant grows

    the vegetable patch

    a patch of nettles/grass/scrub

    The ‘lawn’ was just a tiny patch of grass.

  3. 3
    a piece of cloth that you sew over a hole in clothes, or over a part where holes might form

    She wore a sweater with patches on the elbows.

    1. a.
      a small piece of cloth with a design on it that you sew onto clothes for decoration

      She had sewn colourful patches on her jeans.

    2. b.
  4. 4
    informal an area that someone thinks of as belonging to them, for example because they live or work there. The usual American word is turf

    Some officers claim that there are no drugs on their patch.

  5. 5
    computing a piece of software that you add to a computer program in order to improve it or remove a fault

    You can download this patch from our website.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play