GO:0009953: dorsal/ventral pattern formation
The regionalization process in which the areas along the dorsal/ventral axis are established that will lead to differences in cell differentiation. The dorsal/ventral axis is defined by a line that runs orthogonal to both the anterior/posterior and left/right axes. The dorsal end is defined by the upper or back side of an organism. The ventral end is defined by the lower or front side of an organism.