Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
a lonely little petunia in an onion patch
One who is out of place among those one finds unpleasant, uncouth, or overly aggressive. Taken from a 1946 song of the same name by Johnny Kimano, Billy Faber, and Maurie Hartmann. I'm feeling really uncomfortable in this rowdy sports bar, like a lonely little petunia in an onion patch.
a lean patch
A period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Almost every new business experiences a lean patch at some point or another.
go through a lean patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Her business has been going through a bit of a lean patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Though the team has gone through a lean patch in recent years, they still have a very devoted fanbase.
have a lean patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Her business has had a bit of a lean patch lately. if things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Though the team has been having a lean patch in recent years, they still have a very devoted fanbase.
a rough patch
A period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Almost every new business experiences a rough patch at some point or another.
go through a rough patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Our marriage went through a rough patch after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
have a rough patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has had a bit of a rough patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. We had a rough patch in our marriage after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
tear up the pea patch
obsolete To go on or indulge in a wild outburst, spree, or rampage. (Used largely in relation to sports, especially baseball, where the phrase originated in reference to players running amok and ruining the game.) Primarily heard in US. Another fight has broken out between the two teams. These boys are positively tearing up the pea patch! A few rowdy types entered the bar and tore up the pea patch. They didn't even pay for anything!
1. A section of writing that is showy and extravagant and often stands out in contrast to the rest of the writing in a piece. I don't want to see a single purple patch in these research papers, class. Focus on communicating the facts!
2. A period marked by much success or good luck. Primarily heard in UK. After falling behind early, the team hit a purple patch and scored three quick goals to tie the game. We had few lean years, but our business is finally in a purple patch now, thank goodness.
be (not) a patch on
To be just as good as someone or something else. Often used in the negative to emphasize someone or something's inadequacy. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Alice is a patch on the lead actress in the school play, which is why she was chosen as the understudy. I loved my old boss—this new guy is not a patch on her.
patch a quarrel up
Fig. to put an end to a quarrel; to reconcile quarreling parties. Tom and Fred were able to patch their quarrel up. I hope we can patch up this quarrel.
patch someone up
to give medical care to someone. That cut looks bad, but the doc over there can patch you up. The doc patched up my friend.
patch something together (with something)
to use something to repair something hastily or temporarily. I think I can patch the exhaust pipe together with some wire. See if you can patch this engine together well enough to run for a few more hours.
patch something up
1. Lit. to repair something in a hurry; to make something temporarily serviceable again. Can you patch this up so I can use it again? I'll patch up the hose for you.
2. Fig. to "repair" the damage done by an argument or disagreement. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are trying to patch things up. We patched up our argument, then kissed and made up.
patch up somethingalso patch something up
to fix a relationship Charles said they wanted to patch up any outstanding differences as soon as possible. Early in our marriage, we sometimes argued about money, but we always patched things up.
not be a patch on somebody/something(British & Australian)
to not be as good as someone or something else It's a reasonably entertaining film but it's not a patch on 'Bladerunner'.
Mend or repair, make whole. For example, He managed to patch up the lawn mower so it's running, or John cut his hand badly, but they patched him up in the emergency room, or Mike and Molly have patched up their differences. This term alludes to mending something by putting patches of material on it. [Second half of 1500s]
1. To mend or fix something that has separated or has holes by using some material to reconnect its parts: I patched up my jeans with that fabric. I bought a sewing kit and patched my jacket up.
2. To cover some hole or gap with some material: She patched up the hole in my jeans. He patched up the rip in the drapes.
3. To resolve some problem or conflict: The delegates must patch up their differences.