- the financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests.
- patrons collectively; clientele.
- the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.
- offices, jobs, or other favors so controlled.
- the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one's party or political campaign.
- a condescending manner or attitude in granting favors, in dealing with people, etc.; condescension: an air of patronage toward his business subordinates.
- the position, encouragement, influence, or support of a patron, as toward an artist, institution, etc.
- the right of presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice; advowson.
Origin of patronage
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for patronage
Barack Obama has shown America that crony corporatism, patronage politics, and limitless government know no party.America’s Slumbering Secession Obsession
September 23, 2014
Kate's patronage of the High Street is undoubtedly partly to blame.Kate Middleton's History of Flesh-Flashing Wardrobe Malfunctions
May 29, 2014
This is why Tocqueville puts such a stress on the perils of patronage.What’s At Stake In The Tocqueville/Piketty Debate
April 27, 2014
Instead, patronage networks evolved based on proximity to power, military might and wealth.Second Chance At Building A State in South Sudan
January 17, 2014
He keeps order chiefly thanks to the patronage that he can grant and withdraw according to his discretion and whim.Afghan Elections: The Warlords Are Back
Ron Moreau, Sami Yousafzai
October 16, 2013
His patronage was therefore necessarily withdrawn from Mr. Gladstone.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
The little friar, encouraged by this patronage, found his voice, and pleaded for mercy.Maid Marian
Thomas Love Peacock
There was a wonderful air of benignity and patronage in his manner.
I am deeply obliged to you for your encouragement and patronage, but it was papa who asked for it.
These disappointments of her patronage were a sharp retort, and made me feel independent.
- the support given or custom brought by a patron or patroness
- the position of a patron
- (in politics)
- the practice of making appointments to office, granting contracts, etc
- the favours so distributed
- a condescending manner
- any kindness done in a condescending way
- Christianity the right to present a clergyman to a benefice
Word Origin and History for patronage
late 14c., "right of presenting a qualified person to a church benefice," from Old French patronage (14c.) from patron (see patron). Secular sense of "action of giving influential support" is from 1550s. General sense of "power to give jobs or favors" is from 1769; meaning "regular business of customers" is 1804.
The power of a government official or leader to make appointments and offer favors. Once in office, a politician can use patronage to build a loyal following. Though practiced at all levels of government, patronage is most often associated with the machine politics of big cities. (See spoils system.)