Meaning of “pattern” in the English Dictionary

"pattern" in British English

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uk /ˈpæt.ən/ us /ˈpæt̬.ɚn/

pattern noun (WAY)

B2 [ C ] a particular way in which something is done, is organized, or happens:

The pattern of family life has been changing over recent years.
A pattern is beginning to emerge from our analysis of the accident data.
In this type of mental illness, the usual pattern is bouts of depression alternating with elation.
Many behaviour(al) patterns have been identified in the chimp colony.

More examples

  • Recent months have seen a pattern of tit-for-tat killings between the two sides.
  • It is difficult to discern any pattern in these figures.
  • Damage to the ozone layer has caused a change in weather patterns.
  • Changing patterns of agriculture are threatening the countryside.
  • Genetic engineers should not be allowed to play God, interfering with the basic patterns of Nature.

pattern noun (ARRANGEMENT)

B1 [ C ] any regularly repeated arrangement, especially a design made from repeated lines, shapes, or colours on a surface:

Look, the frost has made a beautiful pattern on the window.
The curtains had a floral pattern.

More examples

  • He bought a white tablecloth edged with a pretty pattern.
  • The sunlight shining through the branches made a filigree pattern on the tiles.
  • a fabric with a zigzag pattern
  • The children made patterns by sticking coloured shapes onto paper.
  • Joe's socks had diamond patterns on them.

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

"pattern" in American English

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patternnoun [ C ]

us /ˈpæt̬·ərn/

pattern noun [ C ] (WAY)

a particular way in which something is done or organized, or in which something happens:

Our weather pattern comes from the northwest.

pattern noun [ C ] (SHAPES)

a regular arrangement of lines, shapes, or colors:

A human fingerprint can be viewed as a geometric pattern.

A pattern is also a design or set of shapes that show how to make something:

a dress pattern
adjective us /ˈpæt̬·ərnd/

a rose and black patterned skirt

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

"pattern" in Business English

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uk /ˈpætən/ us

[ C ] a particular way in which something usually happens or is done:

a pattern of sth A pattern of sluggish consumer demand made growth targets impossibly high.
a pattern emerges A pattern is emerging of a steady reduction in costs and increased sales.
establish/fall into/follow a pattern The decision follows a pattern that has become increasingly common in the food industry.
identify/reveal/show a pattern An examination of official documents shows a pattern of construction cost overruns.
a changing/different/similar pattern changing patterns of employment
a consumption/growth/spending pattern High joblessness and changing consumption patterns will result in moderate sales.
Organizations must address the needs of workers with diverse career patterns and goals.

[ C ] a way of doing something that other people, organizations, etc. can copy:

set the pattern for sth The talks have set the pattern for trying to solve problems within the industry.
a holding pattern

a situation where there is little activity or change, and people are not doing business, spending money, etc. because they cannot decide what to do next:

be in/go into a holding pattern Several deals went into an immediate holding pattern after the crisis.

patternadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈpætən/ us HR

used to describe an agreement based on similar agreements with other companies:

a pattern agreement/contract The contract was viewed by bargainers as a pattern agreement to be used in negotiations with the car company.
The traditional pattern bargaining that went on in the auto industry has gone.

patternverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpætən/ us
be patterned after/on sth

to be copied from something or to be very similar to something:

The facility will employ 150 people and be patterned after the steel fastener facility in Saint Joe, Indiana.

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