According to wikipedia:
In software engineering, a design pattern is a general repeatable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software design. A design pattern is not a finished design that can be transformed directly into code. It is a description or template for how to solve a problem that can be used in many different situations. Object-oriented design patterns typically show relationships and interactions between classes or objects, without specifying the final application classes or objects that are involved. Algorithms are not thought of as design patterns, since they solve computational problems rather than design problems.
Design patterns, and particularly their application in dynamic languages can be a controversial topic, and every now and again another round of blog posts bubbles up appalled at the way a new group of programmers have become infatuated with design patterns. Applied without care design patterns can quickly lead to over-engineered code that seems designed as much to draw on as many of the established patterns as possible as to solve the intended problem. But if applied with care, and with consideration of how a pattern applies in the context of your chosen language they can be a helpful way to draw on the wisdom of the coders that came before you, and make your code easier to understand to those who may inherit it.
Early on in the book I was concerned that some of the solutions could become too heavy and the early introduction of interfaces hinted at something akin to the early approaches to pattern usage in PHP, which often looked more like an attempt to turn PHP into Java than a way to use PHP’s own features better. As the book goes on the usefulness of those interfaces, particularly for large development teams, becomes clear and most of those concerns are allayed, especially as the authors offer pros and cons for the use of each pattern and are clearly focussed on how these patterns can help produce more robust solutions.