Many speakers prefer to use the long a pronunciation of the homograph patent in its sense meaning "open" or "clear", whereas the short a pronunciation is the norm for its sense meaning "a government-issued temporary monopoly on an idea" (the senses are cognate but long since differentiated). In this view, prescriptively, the adverb patently is best pronounced with a long a, although descriptively it is true that speakers often pronounce it with a short a. See patent § Pronunciation, patent § Etymology 1, and patent § Etymology 2.
- In a clear and unambiguous manner.
- 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 161:
- Many of the so-called rites of these secret societies were so patently ridiculous, that it is quite obvious that they were merely an excuse for men and women to indulge in sex-play and lustful gratification, frequently of an abnormal kind.