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An 'element of reusable software'

A design pattern systematically names, motivates, and explains ageneral designthataddresses a recurring design problemin object-oriented systems. It describes the problem, the solution, when to apply the solution, and its consequences. It also gives implementation hints and examples. The solution is ageneral arrangement of objects and classesthat solve the problem. The solution is customized and implemented to solve the problem in a particular context.

(Gamma et al., emphasis mine.)

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