[ puh-droh-nee, -ney; Italian pah-draw-ne ]

noun,plural pa·dro·nes [puh-droh-neez, -neyz], /pəˈdroʊ niz, -neɪz/, Italian pa·dro·ni [pah-draw-nee]. /pɑˈdrɔ ni/.
  1. a master; boss.

  2. 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.

  1. an innkeeper.

Origin of padrone

From Italian, dating back to 1660–70; see origin at patron

Other words from padrone

  • pa·dro·nism [puh-droh-niz-uhm], /pəˈdroʊ nɪz əm/, noun

Words Nearby padrone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use padrone in a sentence

  • Zelphine has just been talking to the padrone, who speaks excellent English, about the excursion to-morrow.

    Italian Days and Ways | Anne Hollingsworth Wharton
  • The padrone asks us, in case we decide to drive, whether we will give a seat in our carriage to the odd number.

    Italian Days and Ways | Anne Hollingsworth Wharton
  • Their spirit of mutual helpfulness saved them from padrone, "banker," and Black Hand.

    The Old World in the New | Edward Alsworth Ross
  • It seems that sometimes, though rarely, it pleases them to pretend to believe that their padrone has displeased them.

    Castellinaria | Henry Festing Jones
  • A waif like himself, a lost baby whom he found on the road being cruelly beaten by a brute of an Italian padrone.

    Pippin; A Wandering Flame | Laura E. Richards

British Dictionary definitions for padrone


/ (pəˈdrəʊnɪ) /

nounplural -nes or -ni (-niː)
  1. the owner or proprietor of an inn, esp in Italy

  2. US an employer who completely controls his workers, esp a man who exploits Italian immigrants in the US

Origin of padrone

C17: from Italian; see patron 1

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