pat·en also pat·in (pătn)
1. A plate, usually of gold or silver, that is used to hold the host during the celebration of the Eucharist. Also called patina1.
2. A plate or shallow dish, especially an artifact from an ancient civilization.
3. A thin disk of or resembling metal.
[Middle English, from Old French patene, from Medieval Latin patina, from Latin, pan, from Greek patanē, platter; see petə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.