View synonyms for patronage


[ pey-truh-nij, pa ]


  1. the financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests.

    Synonyms: trade, commerce, custom

  2. patrons collectively; clientele.
  3. the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.
  4. offices, jobs, or other favors so controlled.
  5. the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one's party or political campaign.
  6. a condescending manner or attitude in granting favors, in dealing with people, etc.; condescension:

    an air of patronage toward his business subordinates.

  7. the position, encouragement, influence, or support of a patron, as toward an artist, institution, etc.
  8. the right of presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice; advowson.


/ ˈpætrənɪdʒ /


    1. the support given or custom brought by a patron or patroness
    2. the position of a patron
  1. in politics
    1. the practice of making appointments to office, granting contracts, etc
    2. the favours so distributed
    1. a condescending manner
    2. any kindness done in a condescending way
  2. Christianity the right to present a clergyman to a benefice


  1. 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 .)

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Other Words From

  • pro·patron·age adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of patronage1

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French; patron, -age

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Example Sentences

Rather, the substance of national partisan conflict largely had to do with competing tariff policy visions and how best to exploit political spoils and patronage.

Meghan, a former TV actress, will also surrender her patronage of the National Theatre, bestowed to her by the queen, who herself had held the honor for 45 years.

The palace spun the yanking of their patronages as something that must be done in accord with tradition, but stressed that there are no hard feelings.

While the spots in those guides still very much deserve patronage, it’s worth looking at the Honolulu restaurants that are surviving and even thriving during this trying year.

From Eater

Back at Glenaan Station in New Zealand, Allbirds’ place in the market relative to more well known brands takes a back seat to the fact that its patronage allows the shepherd who supplies its wool to make impressive capital improvements to his farm.

From Fortune

Barack Obama has shown America that crony corporatism, patronage politics, and limitless government know no party.

Kate's patronage of the High Street is undoubtedly partly to blame.

This is why Tocqueville puts such a stress on the perils of patronage.

Tocqueville is not most concerned that corporate “dynasties of wealth” will seize control of the government through patronage.

Lacking devoted patronage, there Telugu evolved into a spectacularly hideous argot.

He was a weaver in humble life till his self-acquired attainments attracted patronage.

Coldriver did not know there was such a thing as inviting patronage by skillful display.

It is now a city of fifty thousand and dates its rise from the patronage of royalty a century and a half ago.

Mr. Nell, is an excellent man, and deserves the patronage of the public.

Notwithstanding her popularity and patronage, she died in France in great obscurity and penury.