patent

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 /ˈpætənt/

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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
pat•ent /ˈpætənt/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. Law the right granted to an inventor to be the only manufacturer or seller of an invention for a specified number of years[countable]She applied to the government for a patent.
  2. Clothingpatent leather.

adj. 
  1. Law protected by a patent; dealing with patents[before a noun]patent law.
  2. easily open to notice;
    plain to see:a patent absurdity.
  3. Clothingmade of patent leather:patent shoes.

v. [+ object]
  1. Lawto obtain a patent on (an invention):to patent a new invention; to patent her software.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
pat•ent  (patnt or, for 10, 12–15, pāt-; esp. Brit. pātnt), 
n. 
  1. Lawmakingthe exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years.
  2. Lawmakingan invention or process protected by this right.
  3. Lawmakingan official document conferring such a right;
    letters patent.
  4. the instrument by which the government of the United States conveys the legal fee-simple title to public land.
  5. Clothingpatent leather.

adj. pa•tent  for 10, 12–15. 
  1. protected by a patent;
    patented:a patent cooling device.
  2. pertaining to, concerned with, or dealing with patents, esp. on inventions:a patent attorney; patent law.
  3. conferred by a patent, as a right or privilege.
  4. holding a patent, as a person.
  5. readily open to notice or observation;
    evident;
    obvious:a patent breach of good manners.
  6. Clothingmade of patent leather:patent shoes.
  7. lying open; not enclosed or shut in:a patent field.
  8. Botany[Chiefly Bot.]expanded or spreading.
  9. open, as a doorway or a passage.
  10. Phonetics[Phonet.]open, in various degrees, to the passage of the breath stream.

v.t. 
  1. to take out a patent on;
    obtain the exclusive rights to (an invention, process, etc.) by a patent.
  2. to originate and establish as one's own.
  3. Metallurgy[Metall.]to heat and quench (wire) so as to prepare for cold-drawing.
  4. to grant (public land) by a patent.
Etymology:
  • Latin patent- (stem of patēns) open, origin, originally present participle of patēre to stand wide open; (noun, nominal) Middle English, short for letters patent, translation of Medieval Latin litterae patentēs open letters
  • (adjective, adjectival) Middle English 1250–1300
patent•a•ble, adj. 
pat′ent•a•bili•ty, n. 
patent•a•bly, adv. 
patent•ly, adv. 
10 . clear, palpable, conspicuous, unconcealed. See apparent.  10 . dim, obscure, hidden.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

patent /ˈpætənt; ˈpeɪtənt/ n
  1. a government grant to an inventor assuring him the sole right to make, use, and sell his invention for a limited period
  2. a document conveying such a grant
  3. an invention, privilege, etc, protected by a patent
  4. an official document granting a right
  5. any right granted by such a document
adj
  1. open or available for inspection (esp in the phrases letters patent, patent writ)
  2. /ˈpeɪtənt/ obvious: their scorn was patent to everyone
  3. concerning protection, appointment, etc, of or by a patent or patents
  4. proprietary
  5. (esp of a bodily passage or duct) being open or unobstructed
vb (transitive)
  1. to obtain a patent for
  2. (in the US) to grant (public land or mineral rights) by a patent
  3. to heat (a metal) above a transformation temperature and cool it at a rate that allows cold working
Etymology: 14th Century: via Old French from Latin patēre to lie open; n use, short for letters patent, from Medieval Latin litterae patentes letters lying open (to public inspection)

ˈpatentable adj ˌpatentaˈbility n USAGE
The pronunciation "ˈpætənt" is heard in letters patent and Patent Office and is the usual US pronunciation for all senses. In Britain "ˈpætənt" is sometimes heard for senses 1, 2 and 3, but "ˈpeɪtənt" is commoner and is regularly used in collocations like patent leather




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