Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Origin: From the sound made by patting

pat

2 noun
     
pat2 [countable]
1 a friendly act of touching someone with your hand flat:
Mrs Dodd gave the child a pat on the head.
2

pat of butter

DF a small flat amount of butter
3

a pat on the back

informal praise for something that you have done well:
Alex deserves a pat on the back for all his hard work.

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