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[puh-droh-nee, -ney; Italian pah-draw-ne] /pəˈdroʊ ni, -neɪ; Italian pɑˈdrɔ nɛ/
noun, plural padrones
[puh-droh-neez, -neyz] /pəˈdroʊ niz, -neɪz/ (Show IPA).
Italian, padroni
[pah-draw-nee] /pɑˈdrɔ ni/ (Show IPA)
a master; boss.
an employer, especially of immigrant laborers, who provides communal housing and eating arrangements, controls the allocation of pay, etc., in a manner that exploits the workers.
an innkeeper.
Origin of padrone
From Italian, dating back to 1660-70; See origin at patron
Related forms
[puh-droh-niz-uh m] /pəˈdroʊ nɪz əm/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for padroni
Historical Examples
  • The padroni are often very severe, and treat the children just like slaves.

    The Alien Invasion William Henry Wilkins
  • The padroni—that is the masters—having thus gained possession of the children, they bring them to England.

    The Alien Invasion William Henry Wilkins
  • This is no uncommon occurrence, for the padroni are men utterly without principle, and thoroughly bad in every way.

    The Alien Invasion William Henry Wilkins
  • The padroni do not confine their attentions only to children, but frequently bring over whole families as well.

    The Alien Invasion William Henry Wilkins
  • Another instance of the rapacity of the padroni is illustrated by the following case, of even more recent date.

    The Alien Invasion William Henry Wilkins
  • Doubtless this would have a very good effect, and the gains of the padroni would be sensibly diminished.

    The Alien Invasion William Henry Wilkins
British Dictionary definitions for padroni


noun (pl) -nes, -ni (-niː)
the owner or proprietor of an inn, esp in Italy
(US) an employer who completely controls his workers, esp a man who exploits Italian immigrants in the US
Word Origin
C17: from Italian; see patron1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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