early 14c., "fact or right of succeeding someone by inheritance," from Old French succession "inheritance; a following on" (13c.), from Latin successionem (nominative successio) "a following after, a coming into another's place, result," noun of action from successus, past participle of succedere (see succeed). Meaning "fact of being later in time" is late 14c. Meaning "a regular sequence" is from mid-15c.
"make a quick succession of small taps," 1610s, frequentative of pat (v.). Related: Pattered; pattering. As a noun, "a quick succession of small sounds," by 1844. Phrase patter of tiny (or little) feet, suggestive of the presence or expectation of a child, is by 1858, in an anonymous poem, "The Patter of Little Feet."
c. 1500, from Late Latin subsequentia "act of following, succession," from Latin subsequens (see subsequent). Related: Subsequency.
"melody, tune, connected rhythmic succession of distinct musical sounds," 1580s, nativized from Italian aria (see aria), perhaps via French.
early 15c., "an exchange, act of exchanging reciprocally," from Old French entrechange, from entrechangier (see interchange (v.)). Meaning "alternate succession" is from 1550s. In reference to a type of road junction, 1944.
early 14c., "a musical sound," unexplained variant of tone (n.). From late 14c. as "a well-rounded succession of musical notes, an air, melody." Meaning "state of being in proper pitch" is from mid-15c.
late 14c., in church music, a composition said or sung after the Alleluia and before the Gospel, from Old French sequence "answering verses" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin sequentia "a following, a succession," from Latin sequentem (nominative sequens), present participle of sequi "to follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow").
In Church use, a partial loan-translation of Greek akolouthia, from akolouthos "following." By 1570s in the general sense of "a series of things following in a certain order, a succession," also in cards, "a run of three or more consecutive numbers of the same suit." By 1580s as "order of succession." In biochemistry in reference to nucleic acids, by 1959.