Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “patent”

patent

noun uk   /ˈpeɪ.tənt/ us    /ˈpæt.ənt/

patent noun (LEGAL RIGHT)

[C] the official legal right to make or sell an invention for a particular number of years: In 1880 Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent on an apparatus for signalling and communicating called a Photophone. The company took out/filed a patent on a genetically engineered tomato.

patent noun (LEATHER)

[U] → patent leather

patent

verb [T] uk   /ˈpeɪ.tənt/ us    /ˈpæt.ənt/
to get the official legal right to make or sell an invention: If you don't patent your invention, other people may make all the profit out of it.

patent

adjective uk   us  

patent adjective (OBVIOUS)

    /ˈpeɪ.tənt/ [before noun] formal very obvious: a patent lie a patent disregard of the law "No," he replied, with patent distaste.

patent adjective (LEGAL RIGHT)

  /ˈpeɪ.tənt/    /ˈpæt.ənt/ [before noun] A patent invention is protected by law so that only particular people or companies have the right to make or sell it: a patent screwdriver
(Definition of patent from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of patent?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Court cases, orders & decisions, but you might be interested in these topics from the Trials and court cases topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “patent” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

give the green light to sth

to give permission for someone to do something or for something to happen

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More