pattern - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    a series of actions or events that together show how things normally happen or are done
    pattern of:

    Patterns of employment in urban areas are different from those in the countryside.

    pattern of:

    We examined patterns of behaviour in young children.

    follow a pattern (=happen according to a pattern):

    Training and education follow different patterns in different regions.

    a pattern emerges/occurs:

    With such limited data no clear pattern emerges.

    a set/fixed pattern:

    There is no set pattern for grieving when a loved one dies.

    behaviour/sleep patterns:

    survival-oriented behaviour patterns

  2. 3
    a drawing or shape that you use when you are making something, so that you get the shape and size correct

    a sewing/knitting pattern

  3. 4
    linguistics the words, phrases, groups, and clauses that are regularly associated with a particular verb, noun, or adjective. For example a common pattern of the verbpersuadeconsists of a form of ‘persuade’, a noun group such as ‘her sister’ and a clause beginning with a ‘to’ infinitive. This pattern is abbreviated to ‘V n to-inf’, for example ‘… persuaded her sister to move out of London’. A common pattern of the nounidea’ is ‘N that’, for example ‘… the idea that everyone should drive at 20 miles per hour’.