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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for patronize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And you sit there and—swing your foot and—and patronize—and call him a fool.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The Captain did not attempt to urge him, neither did he preach or patronize.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Edna Keith was older than she, but not old enough to patronize.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • If we get hungry before we reach Los Angeles, we'll patronize the diner.

    Tabitha's Vacation

    Ruth Alberta Brown
  • Customers were very rare, the passers-by disinclined to patronize him.

    The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2) Alphonse Daudet
  • You may flatter the American farmer; you cannot patronize him.

    Chapters in Rural Progress Kenyon L. Butterfield
  • The gentry did not so often patronize public balls, but this was an exception.

    A Little Girl in Old Boston Amanda Millie Douglas
British Dictionary definitions for patronize


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 patronize

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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