|n.||1.||A piece of cloth, or other suitable material, sewed or otherwise fixed upon a garment to repair or strengthen it, esp. upon an old garment to cover a hole.|
|2.||A small piece of anything used to repair a breach; |
|3.||A small piece of black silk stuck on the face, or neck, to hide a defect, or to heighten beauty.|
|4.||(Gun.) A piece of greased cloth or leather used as wrapping for a rifle ball, to make it fit the bore.|
|5.||Fig.: Anything regarded as a patch; a small piece of ground; a tract; a plot; |
|6.||(Mil.) A block on the muzzle of a gun, to do away with the effect of dispart, in sighting.|
|7.||A paltry fellow; a rogue; a ninny; a fool.|
|v. t.||1.||To mend by sewing on a piece or pieces of cloth, leather, or the like; |
|2.||To mend with pieces; to repair with pieces festened on; to repair clumsily; |
|3.||To adorn, as the face, with a patch or patches.|
|4.||To make of pieces or patches; to repair as with patches; to arrange in a hasty or clumsy manner; - generally with up; |
|Noun||1.||patch - a small contrasting part of something; "a bald spot"; "a leopard's spots"; "a patch of clouds"; "patches of thin ice"; "a fleck of red"|
|2.||patch - a small area of ground covered by specific vegetation; "a bean plot"; "a cabbage patch"; "a briar patch"|
|3.||patch - a piece of cloth used as decoration or to mend or cover a hole|
|4.||patch - a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition; "he was here for a little while"; "I need to rest for a piece"; "a spell of good weather"; "a patch of bad weather"|
|5.||patch - a short set of commands to correct a bug in a computer program|
|6.||patch - a connection intended to be used for a limited time|
Synonyms: temporary hookup
|7.||patch - sewing or darning that repairs a worn or torn hole (especially in a garment); "her stockings had several mends"|
|8.||patch - a protective cloth covering for an injured eye|
|9.||patch - a piece of soft material that covers and protects an injured part of the body|
|Verb||1.||patch - to join or unite the pieces of; "patch the skirt"|
|2.||patch - provide with a patch; also used metaphorically; "The field was patched with snow"|
|3.||patch - mend by putting a patch on; "patch a hole"|
Synonyms: patch up
|4.||patch - repair by adding pieces; "She pieced the china cup"|
|(software)||patch - 1. A temporary addition to a piece of code, usually
as a quick-and-dirty remedy to an existing bug or
misfeature. A patch may or may not work, and may or may not
eventually be incorporated permanently into the program.
Distinguished from a diff or mod by the fact that a patch
is generated by more primitive means than the rest of the
program; the classical examples are instructions modified by
using the front panel switches, and changes made directly to
the binary executable of a program originally written in an
HLL. Compare one-line fix.|
2. To insert a patch into a piece of code.
3. [in the Unix world] A diff.
4. A set of modifications to binaries to be applied by a patching program. IBM systems often receive updates to the operating system in the form of absolute hexadecimal patches. If you have modified your OS, you have to disassemble these back to the source code. The patches might later be corrected by other patches on top of them (patches were said to "grow scar tissue"). The result was often a convoluted patch space and headaches galore.
There is a classic story of a tiger team penetrating a secure military computer that illustrates the danger inherent in binary patches (or, indeed, any patches that you can't - or don't - inspect and examine before installing). They couldn't find any trap doors or any way to penetrate security of IBM's OS, so they made a site visit to an IBM office (remember, these were official military types who were purportedly on official business), swiped some IBM stationery, and created a fake patch. The patch was actually the trapdoor they needed. The patch was distributed at about the right time for an IBM patch, had official stationery and all accompanying documentation, and was dutifully installed. The installation manager very shortly thereafter learned something about proper procedures.
5. Larry Wall's "patch" utility, which automatically applies a patch to a set of source code or other text files. It accepts input in any of the four forms output by the Unix diff utility and uses many helpful heuristics to determine how to apply them.
Diff and patch are the standard way of producing and applying updates to Unix files ditributed via Usenet and the Internet, both have been ported to other operating systems.
See your nearest GNU archive site.