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 (pä′tə-rə, păt′ə-)
n. pl. pa·te·ras also pa·te·rae (-rē)
1. A shallow bowl or dish, especially one used ceremonially by the ancient Romans in pouring libations.
2. A shallow crater on the surface of a solar system body, having an irregular or scalloped rim, caused either by past volcanic activity or by the impact of a much smaller solar system body.

[Latin, perhaps from patina, shallow dish (influenced by crātēra, vessel for mixing wine with water); see paten.]


1. (Archaeology) archaeol a shallow ancient Roman bowl used in rituals
2. (Architecture) architect a saucer-shaped decorative element, often on walls or ceilings
3. (Astrology) astrology a shallow planetary crater
References in periodicals archive ?
The highly detailed, colourful map reveals a number of volcanic features, including: paterae (caldera-like depressions), lava flow fields, tholi (volcanic domes), and plume deposits, in various shapes, sizes and colors, as well as high mountains and large expanses of sulfur- and sulfur dioxide-rich plains.
DESIRABLE: This lovely 19th century mahogany cellaret in the George III style has fan paterae, line and chequer inlaid dome top with fitted brass side carrying handles.