Did you know?

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

patchy

 - definition
Close

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.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective British English pronunciation: patchy /ˈpætʃi/ 
Word Forms
Close
adjectivepatchy
comparativepatchier
superlativepatchiest
  1. 1
    happening or existing in some places but not in other places

    If your lawn has extensive areas of patchy growth, try watering it.

    Demand for the product has been patchy.

    patchy rain/cloud/fog:

    Low clouds and patchy rain are forecast for tomorrow.

  2. 2
    not detailed enough or complete enough to be useful

    patchy evidence

    His memory of yesterday's events remains patchy.

    I have only a patchy knowledge of Spanish history.

derived words

patchily

adverb

patchiness

noun [uncountable]

hostile architecture

the design of buildings or public spaces in a way which discourages people from touching, climbing or sitting on them …

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

boots on the ground

a situation in which a country's armed forces are physically present in an area of conflict …

add a word

Blog

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