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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adv pitter-patter describing a rhythmic beating "his heart went pit-a-pat"
    • adv pitter-patter as of footsteps "he came running pit-a-pat down the hall"
    • v pitter-patter make light, rapid and repeated sounds "gently pattering rain"
    • v pitter-patter rain gently "It has only sprinkled, but the roads are slick"
    • n pitter-patter a series of rapid tapping sounds "she missed the pitter-patter of little feet around the house"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Pitter-patter A sound like that of alternating light beats. Also, a pattering of words.
    • adv Pitter-patter With, or with the sound of, alternating light beats; as, his heart went pitter-patter .
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • pitter-patter Same as pitapat; also noting a slighter and quicker beat, as of drops of water.
    • ***


In literature:

Then, with a swift pitter-patter, she ran back to the house.
"Little Sister Snow" by Frances Little
Jack a little later heard the cat-like steps of its mate leaving the place, until the pitter-patter died away in the distance.
"Jack North's Treasure Hunt" by Roy Rockwood
They plumped into the milk-cans, and they went pittering and pattering all over the floor, backwards and forwards, and up and down.
"Little Eyolf" by Henrik Ibsen
Every door was banging, and the passages and the staircase resounded with the constant pitter-patter of feet.
"Lourdes From the "Three Cities"" by Emile Zola
Every door was banging, and the passages and the staircase resounded with the constant pitter-patter of feet.
"The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Lourdes, Rome and Paris" by Emile Zola
Do you see the dropping rain, Pitter-patter on the pane?
"Home Geography For Primary Grades" by C. C. Long
Then, pitter, patter, came the rain, hissing on the flames.
"Two Knapsacks" by John Campbell
The rain fell in heavy drops, pitter, patter.
"Undine" by Friedrich de la Motte Fouquée
There was stillness; no battery, however distant, no pitter-patter of rifle fire, no chattering report of the machine guns.
"The Dark Forest" by Hugh Walpole
Pitter patter, pitter patter, pitter patter down the street.
"Here and Now Story Book" by Lucy Sprague Mitchell
Finally a shutter was pushed open very gently, and the four hearts went pitter-patter, anticipating the sight of a lovely young girl's face.
"A Portrait of Old George Town" by Grace Dunlop Ecker
It's pitter-patter o' little feet in the mud.
"Fix Bay'nets" by George Manville Fenn
I do not think tyrants feel their hearts go pitter-patter, as mine did, both last night and this morning.
"In Convent Walls" by Emily Sarah Holt
The next moment the sight of little Jimmy Crow hopping after him made her heart go pitter-patter.
"Little Jack Rabbit's Adventures" by David Cory
She had not gone far when she heard the pitter-patter of feet.
"The White Queen of Okoyong" by W.P. Livingstone
Pitter, patter on the roof, a sprinkle of broad drops on the window-panes from the trees swishing in the wind outside.
"Sweethearts at Home" by S. R. Crockett
On and on traveled the Moquis, almost noiselessly pitter-pattering along the dusty floor of the passage.
"The Boy Scouts On The Range" by Lieut. Howard Payson
We, the player, feel a little pitter-patter in the heart.
"The Happy Golfer" by Henry Leach
It was a wonderful ride, through the soft shiny darkness, with only the pitter patter of the kurumaya's sandals to break the silence.
"Captain June" by Alice Hegan Rice

In poetry:

O you Fates with old wives' chatter,
Sleepy night so softly swaying,
Life with mouselike pitter-patter,
Why vex me, what are you saying?
"Night Piece" by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
Stark staring upon the sward lay the clown,
And his heart went "pitter-patter,"—
Till the ghost in the clay-cold grave sunk down,—
When he felt in a twitter-twatter!
"The Gosherd Of Croyland" by Thomas Cooper
I shouted, "Ahoy" to the Captain
My heart going all pitter patter
"There¹s a girl in the channel, She¹s wearing red flannel."
The Captain said, "That doesn¹t matter!"
"The Sailor Comes Home With The Washing" by T W Connor
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
Your legs are long, mine are short; I am lean, you are fatter;
Your step is bold and free, mine goes pitter-patter;
Your head is in the air, and mine hangs down like lead—
But then my two great ears are so heavy on my head!
"The Donkey In The Cart To The Horse In The Carriage" by George MacDonald

In news:

The Sedgwick County Zoo hopes to hear the pitter-patter of baby tiger paws.
The beats are moving and grooving, there is a sense of excitement in the air, and the pitter patter of little feet can occasionally be heard it's the Tuesday Music Magazine.
Ah The pitter patter sound of little feet racing across the floor.
The pitter-patter of little feet is an increasingly common sound at nursing homes and senior-living residences.
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.
LANGLEY — Imagine the city's old fire hall on Second Street filled with the pitter-patter of raindrops — and the footsteps of wee ones.
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.
Is That The Pitter Patter Of Tiny Feet.
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 careful, melodic pitter-patter of washed-out synths.
There isn't a better song than "Shine" to have a track of forceful pitter patter layered beneath it.
Last Thursday, I awoke to the pitter patter of rain on my roof.