• WordNet 3.6
    • v patter make light, rapid and repeated sounds "gently pattering rain"
    • v patter rain gently "It has only sprinkled, but the roads are slick"
    • n patter plausible glib talk (especially useful to a salesperson)
    • n patter a quick succession of light rapid sounds "the patter of mice","the patter of tiny feet"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Patter A quick succession of slight sounds; as, the patter of rain; the patter of little feet.
    • Patter Glib and rapid speech; a voluble harangue.
    • Patter The cant of a class; patois; as, thieves's patter; gypsies' patter.
    • Patter The language or oratory of a street peddler, conjurer, or the like, hence, glib talk; a voluble harangue; mere talk; chatter; also, specif., rapid speech, esp. as sometimes introduced in songs.
    • Patter To mutter; as prayers. "The hooded clouds patter their doleful prayers."
    • Patter To mutter; to mumble; as, to patter with the lips.
    • Patter To spatter; to sprinkle. "And patter the water about the boat."
    • Patter To strike with a quick succession of slight, sharp sounds; as, pattering rain or hail; pattering feet. "The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard."
    • Patter To talk glibly; to chatter; to harangue. "I've gone out and pattered to get money."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • patter To make a quick succession of small sounds by striking against the ground or any object: as, the pattering of raindrops on a roof.
    • patter To move with quick steps, making a succession of small sounds; hence, to make a succession of small sounds resembling those of short quick steps or of falling rain or hailstones.
    • patter To cause to strike or beat in drops; spatter.
    • n patter A quick succession of small sounds: as, the patter of rain or hail; the patter of little feet.
    • patter To repeat the Lord's Prayer; hence, generally, to pray.
    • patter To talk; especially, to talk glibly or rapidly, as a cheap John in disposing of his wares.
    • patter To repeat something again and again in a rapid or mumbling way; mumble; mutter.
    • patter To repeat rapidly or often, especially in a hurried, mumbling way; repeat hurriedly and monotonously; mumble; mutter: as, to patter prayers.
    • n patter Talk, especially glib or fluent talk; the oratory of a cheap John in disposing of his wares.
    • n patter Gossip; chatter.
    • n patter The dialect or patois of a class; slang; cant: as, gipsies’ patter; thieves’ patter.
    • patter To eat.
    • n patter Rapid phrases introduced into a song in a speaking voice: sometimes applied to the whole text of a comedy.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Patter pat′ėr to pat or strike often, as hailstones: to make the sound of short quick steps
    • pr.p Patter patt′ering; pa.t. and pa.p. patt′ered
    • v.i Patter pat′ėr to repeat the Lord's Prayer: to pray: to repeat over and over again indistinctly, to mumble
    • v.t Patter to repeat hurriedly, to mutter
    • n Patter glib talk, chatter: the cant of a class
    • ***


  • Jean Paul Richter
    “Joy descends gently upon us like the evening dew, and does not patter down like a hailstorm.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
In this sense, and in the following, perh. from pater,noster


In literature:

And behind him Twinkleheels' pattering feet struggled to shorten the distance between them.
"The Tale of Pony Twinkleheels" by Arthur Scott Bailey
When those first angry drops pattered down on the leaves Nanny started up in alarm and would have raced for home.
"Green Valley" by Katharine Reynolds
A swift patter of Spanish fell from his lips.
"Steve Yeager" by William MacLeod Raine
I have more respect for conjurer's patter than for doctor's patter.
"Magic" by G.K. Chesterton
I took my cue, and pattered along by my guardian's side, his tall form a narrow yet impassable bulwark between me and Mr. Dick Burden.
"Set in Silver" by Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
How the lady would patter away, and pretend she didn't know that a rising young judge had his eye upon her!
"My Friend the Chauffeur" by C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
Faster and faster came the drops and now the sound they made was like the steady patter of musketry.
"The Young Trailers" by Joseph A. Altsheler
But he was in the Piazza di Spagna by this time, and his little feet in their top-boots began to patter up the snowy steps.
"The Eternal City" by Hall Caine
Below on the smooth black pavement pattered two laden burros.
"Overland Red" by Henry Herbert Knibbs
Then followed the sharp hoofbeats of a pony on the wooden floor, a crash of glass, and the swift patter on the earth outside, and all was still.
"Ted Strong in Montana" by Edward C. Taylor

In poetry:

Her footsteps, hush'd for many a weary day,
Began to stir, and round the little room
She patter'd, feeling her uncertain way,
With tiny hands before her in the gloom.
"Blind Ella" by Alexander Anderson
The raindrops patter slowly from the caves;
The fire beneath my half-boiled rice is out;
I hear the rising roar of ribald shout
That brings the evening to Shinkawa Slum.
"Shinkawa" by Toyohiko Kagawa
'Why build Thyself these great and perfect places;
Why build, and never come to walk therein?'
And only rippling sunshine was the answer,
Or little pattering footsteps of the rain.
"The Answer" by Katherine Hale
O the chatter, chatter, chatter,
Of the things that do not matter.
Little wordy things that clatter,
Restless feet that pitter patter,
All my pretty houses scatter,
All my noble castles scatter.
"The House Of Cards" by Dora Sigerson Shorter
It all comes back so clear to-day!
Though I am as bald as you are gray--
Out by the barn-lot, and down the lane,
We patter along in the dust again,
As light as the tips of the drops of the rain,
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!
"Old Aunt Mary's" by James Whitcomb Riley
O the fluttering and the pattering of those green things growing!
How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing;
In the wonderful white of the weird moonlight
Or the dim dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing.
"Green Things Growing" by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

In news:

Rainfall amounts are expected to vary across Nebraska this weekend, from just a pattering to about a half inch.
Patter Fam sauces helping fight breast cancer.
A Brooklyn Store Offers Astounding Variety, With Patter .
The Twitter Patter of Little Feet.
Ah The pitter patter sound of little feet racing across the floor.
Suddenly fast footsteps behind us—thudding pitter-patter in a wave, rubber soles smacking like jazz snares , loud, louder, nearly here, bent arms and fists cutting the air.
TALL and slender with a flowing beard, dressed in a gray sweater and jeans, Brian Kernighan works his audience with a fast patter and a ready smile.
Are copywriters today so tone-deaf , so mired in over-the-top, hard-sell patter that they can't hear how ridiculous they sound.
LANGLEY — Imagine the city's old fire hall on Second Street filled with the pitter-patter of raindrops — and the footsteps of wee ones.
A Brooklyn Store Offers Astounding Variety, With Patter.
Honey Boo Boo may head to bed early on Christmas Eve -- but not to await the pitter-patter of Santa's reindeer on the roof of her McIntyre, Ga.
The Norwegians, who were playing Canada and then met the USA later Tuesday, have raised eyebrows in the Vancouver Olympic Centre since practicing in the red-white-and-blue, diamond-pattered pants.
Is That The Pitter Patter Of Tiny Feet.
Patter puts a professional through his paces.
This morning I slept in as the soft patter of the rain beat against my window.

In science:

The present study clearly shows that the Turing patters on random scale-free networks have characteristics distinct from those in the case of a regular network.
Reaction diffusion processes on random and scale-free networks
This relative phase may shift the interference patter and this is experimentally observed.
Is magnetic flux quantized inside a solenoid?
By contrast, using LCG results in repeated patters of hR(t)i and unphysical correlations in hR(t)R(0)i (Fig. 4).
Efficient pseudo-random number generators for biomolecular simulations on graphics processors
Right: The merging point is determined most easily by percolating bit patters (see text).
Equal-time correlation function for directed percolation
In general 2HDMs do not exhibit the phenomenologically well established “minimal flavor violation ” (MFV) constraint, which demands FCNC and CP patter ns to be close to what we have in the SM .
Implications of low and high energy measurements on SUSY models