Meaning of “patch” in the English Dictionary

"patch" in British English

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patchnoun [ C ]

uk /pætʃ/ us /pætʃ/

patch noun [ C ] (AREA)

C2 a small area that is different in some way from the area that surrounds it:

Our dog has a black patch on his back.
The hotel walls were covered in damp patches.
There were lots of icy patches on the road this morning.
This story is good in patches (= some parts are good), but I wouldn't really recommend it.

UK informal a local area within which someone works:

He's been working as a policeman on the same patch for 20 years.

More examples

  • Is that a patch of damp on the wall?
  • He skidded on a patch of ice.
  • For a moment I thought you had a patch of grey hairs, but it's just a trick of the light.
  • Freezing fog and icy patches are expected to cause problems for motorists tonight.
  • I get scaly patches on my scalp.

patch noun [ C ] (PIECE OF MATERIAL)

C2 a small piece of material sewn or stuck over something to cover it:

I'll have to sew a patch onto these jeans - they're ripped at the knee.

a small piece of material that can be stuck to the skin, from which particular substances can be absorbed into the body:

Some people wear nicotine patches to help them give up smoking.

an eyepatch


uk /pætʃ/ us /pætʃ/

(Definition of “patch” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"patch" in American English

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patchnoun [ C ]

us /pætʃ/

patch noun [ C ] (AREA)

a small part of a surface that is different in some way from the area around it:

Watch for patches of ice on the road.
We have a small vegetable patch (= area for growing vegetables).

patch noun [ C ] (PIECE OF MATERIAL)

a piece of material put over a damaged area or hole to repair, strengthen, or cover it:

His old jeans are covered with patches.
verb [ T ] us /pætʃ/

to patch a tire

(Definition of “patch” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"patch" in Business English

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patchnoun [ C ]

uk /pætʃ/ us

IT a small computer program that can repair a problem with software:

You can download a patch to fix the problem.
go through/hit a bad/difficult/rough patch informal

to experience a lot of problems in a short period of time:

Economically, the country is going through a bad patch.
The company hit a rough patch last year, which included its first quarterly loss since going public.

(Definition of “patch” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)