a Modern English variant of patron, retaining its other old sense of "outline, plan, model, an original proposed for imitation," from Old French patron "patron, protector; model, pattern." The difference in form and sense between English patron and pattern wasn't firm before 1700s. The meaning "a design or figure corresponding in outline to an object that is to be fabricated and serving as a guide for its shape and dimensions" is by late 14c. Extended sense of "repeated decorative design" is from 1580s. From 1640s as "a part showing the figure or quality of the whole." Meaning "model or design in dressmaking" (especially one of paper) is recorded by 1792 (Jane Austen). Pattern-book is from 1774; pattern-maker is by 1851; pattern baldness is by 1916.
1580s, "to make a pattern for, design, plan" (a sense now obsolete), from pattern (n.). Meaning "to make something after a pattern" is from c. 1600; that of "to cover with a design or pattern" is by 1857. To pattern after "take as a model" is by 1878.
c. 1300, patroun, "a lord-master, one who protects, supports, or encourages," also "one who has the right of presenting a clergyman to a preferment," from Old French patron "patron, protector, patron saint" (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin patronus "patron saint, bestower of a benefice; lord, master; model, pattern, example," from Latin patronus "defender, protector; former master (of a freed slave); advocate," from pater (genitive patris) "father" (see father (n.)). A doublet of pattern (n.); also compare patroon.
From late 14c. as "founder of a religious order," also "a patron saint." The meaning "one who advances and encourages the cause or work" of an artist, institution, etc., usually by means of the person's wealth and power, is suggested from late 14c., clearly in this sense by c. 1600; "commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery" [Johnson]. The commercial sense of "regular customer" is recorded from c. 1600. Patron saint "saint regarded as a special protector of a person, place, profession, etc." (by 1717) originally was simply patron (late 14c.).
"pattern of squares in alternating colors," c. 1400, short for checker (n.1). As a fabric having such a pattern from 1610s.
1580s, "fit to be an example," from French exemplaire, from Late Latin exemplaris "that serves as an example, pattern, or motto," from exemplum "example, pattern, model" (see example). Earlier (early 15c.) as a noun meaning "a model of conduct," from Late Latin exemplarium.
early 14c., "pattern or model to be imitated," from sample (n.) in one of its older senses now found only in its source, example. The meaning "embroidery specimen by a beginner to show skill," (1520s) is probably originally meant as "piece of embroidery serving as an illustrative specimen," or "pattern to be copied or to fix and retain a valuable pattern." As "a collection of samples, a representative selection," from 1912.