pat down

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pat down

1. To tamp down the surface of some substance in order to smooth, flatten, or pack it. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "pat" and "down." Lightly pat the soil down after planting the seed, leaving it loose enough for water to get through. Pat down the silicone mixture around the person's face so that the mold will be able to capture all their unique details.
2. To put one's hands on someone's body in order to search them for something, especially weaponry or prohibited substances. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "pat" and "down." The bouncer is patting down everyone to make sure no one smuggles booze or drugs into the concert. The officer patted me down even through I told him I didn't have a gun on me.
See also: down, pat

pat something down

to tap something down with the open hand. I heaped some soil over the seeds and patted it down. I patted down the soil.
See also: down, pat

pat down

v.
1. To flatten or mold something by tapping it gently with the hands or a flat implement: The baker patted down the dough with a rolling pin. We patted the clay down before shaping it.
2. To search someone or something with the hands, especially for weapons or illegal substances: The police patted down the suspect for guns. The customs officials patted us down.
See also: down, pat
References in periodicals archive ?
US security personnel at airports see lots of passengers who have had replacement surgery and a letter won't make any difference as to whether they'll pat you down or not.
"'Sorry,' they told me, 'we're going to have to pat you down,' " Karen Winters says.
Kylie, whose mum comes from Maesteg, added: "I actually think it was because they wanted to pat you down - there were ulterior motives."
I did think about putting it on, but thought it would be OK to just have someone walk me though." Kylie added: "I actually think it was because they wanted to pat you down - there were ulterior motives."
If TSA officials are unsure who should pat you down, ask to speak to a supervisor and calmly insist on the appropriate officer.
Today, if you fly for a US carrier, your fingerprints are on file with the F.B.I and safety officers pat you down each day on the way to work.