Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: COLOURS AND SOUNDS

Sense: 1,3
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: PATTER1
Sense: 2
Date: 1700-1800
Origin: paternoster name of a Christian prayer (9-21 centuries)

patter

2 noun
     
patter2
1 [singular]C the sound made by something as it keeps hitting a surface lightly and quickly
patter of
the patter of footsteps
the pitter patter of raindrops
2 [singular, uncountable] fast, continuous, and usually amusing talk, used by someone telling jokes or trying to sell something:
It's difficult to look at the cars without getting the sales patter.
3

the patter of tiny feet

used humorously to mean that someone is going to have a baby:
Are we going to hear the patter of tiny feet?
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