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[pey-truh-nahyz, pa‐] /ˈpeɪ trəˌnaɪz, ˈpæ‐/
verb (used with object), patronized, patronizing.
to give (a store, restaurant, hotel, etc.) one's regular patronage; trade with.
to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward:
a professor who patronizes his students.
to act as a patron toward (an artist, institution, etc.); support.
Also, especially British, patronise.
Origin of patronize
First recorded in 1580-90; patron + -ize
Related forms
patronizable, adjective
patronization, noun
patronizer, noun
repatronize, verb (used with object), repatronized, repatronizing.
transpatronize, verb (used with object), transpatronized, transpatronizing.
unpatronizable, adjective
well-patronized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for patronising
Historical Examples
  • The intention was kind, but the manner was so patronising that Arthur felt offended.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Morand shrugged his shoulders and turned a patronising gaze on Bouzille.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • "I've got my eye on Phebe," observed Will, in a patronising tone that made them all laugh.

    Eight Cousins Louisa M. Alcott
  • At home he assumed a patronising air to the people about Charley Hedrick.

    In Our Town William Allen White
  • It is a condescending, patronising kind of manner, as if—yes, that is it!

    Out in the Forty-Five Emily Sarah Holt
  • “Now fall to, youngsters,” said Horner, in a patronising tone.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
  • “Very well, young one,” exclaimed Tommy in a patronising tone.

    Ernest Bracebridge William H. G. Kingston
  • "I should like to tell you, dear," she added, in a patronising tone.

    A Sailor's Lass

    Emma Leslie
  • “Plenty of time,” returned Aglootook, with a patronising smile.

    The Walrus Hunters R.M. Ballantyne
  • "Good-morning to you," said Mrs. Bunnett in a cold voice, but patronising.

    More Cargoes W. W. Jacobs
British Dictionary definitions for patronising


to behave or treat in a condescending way
(transitive) to act as a patron or patroness by sponsoring or bringing trade to
Derived Forms
patronizer, patroniser, noun
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 patronising



1580s, "to act as a patron towards," from patron + -ize, or from Old French patroniser. Meaning "treat in a condescending way" is first attested 1797; sense of "give regular business to" is from 1801. Related: Patronized; patronizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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