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[pey-truh n] /ˈpeɪ trən/
a person who is a customer, client, or paying guest, especially a regular one, of a store, hotel, or the like.
a person who supports with money, gifts, efforts, or endorsement an artist, writer, museum, cause, charity, institution, special event, or the like:
a patron of the arts; patrons of the annual Democratic dance.
a person whose support or protection is solicited or acknowledged by the dedication of a book or other work.
Roman History. the protector of a dependent or client, often the former master of a freedman still retaining certain rights over him.
Ecclesiastical. a person who has the right of presenting a member of the clergy to a benefice.
Origin of patron
1250-1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin patrōnus legal protector, advocate (Medieval Latin: lord, master), derivative of pater father. See pattern
Related forms
patronal, patronly, adjective
patrondom, patronship, noun
patronless, adjective
subpatronal, adjective


[pah-trawn] /pɑˈtrɔn/
noun, plural patrones
[pah-traw-nes] /pɑˈtrɔ nɛs/ (Show IPA).
(in Mexico and the southwestern U.S.) a boss; employer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for patron
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the patron is a friend of mine; he will do his very best for you after what I have written.'

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • Napoleon was neither boy nor man, patron, king, nor pope; he was Napoleon!

  • I began to thank my patron saint that the Snake River was crossed.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • "It's but what might have been looked for," he said, lightly, in answer to some sad words of my patron's.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Each of his men had, as usual, a patron saint according to his name or taste.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
British Dictionary definitions for patron


a person, esp a man, who sponsors or aids artists, charities, etc; protector or benefactor
a customer of a shop, hotel, etc, esp a regular one
(in ancient Rome) the protector of a dependant or client, often the former master of a freedman still retaining certain rights over him
(Christianity) a person or body having the right to present a clergyman to a benefice
Derived Forms
patronal (pəˈtrəʊnəl) adjective
patronly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin patrōnus protector, from pater father


a man, who owns or manages a hotel, restaurant, or bar


(Irish) a variant spelling of pattern2
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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Word Origin and History for patron

"a lord-master, a protector," c.1300, from Old French patron "patron, protector, patron saint" (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin patronus "patron saint, bestower of a benefice, lord, master, model, pattern," from Latin patronus "defender, protector, former master (of a freed slave); advocate," from pater (genitive patris) "father" (see father (n.)). Meaning "one who advances the cause" (of an artist, institution, etc.), usually by the person's wealth and power, is attested from late 14c.; "commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery" [Johnson]. Commercial sense of "regular customer" first recorded c.1600. Patron saint (1717) originally was simply patron (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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