a woman who protects, supports, or sponsors someone or something.

Origin of patroness

1375–1425; late Middle English patronesse female patron saint < Old French
Related formssub·pa·tron·ess, noun

Usage note

See -ess. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for patroness


Examples from the Web for patroness

Contemporary Examples of patroness

Historical Examples of patroness

  • The patroness of the ex-convict received this assurance indignantly.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • "You're wise not to lie I to me," her patroness remarked with just a suspicion of satisfaction.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Thence he went to Veere, but found no opportunity to talk to his patroness.

  • But Pamela was immovable, and, accordingly, had never seen her patroness since.


    Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • Tofte tells his patroness that most of his ‘toys’ ‘were conceived in Italy.’

British Dictionary definitions for patroness



a woman who sponsors or aids artists, charities, etc; protector or benefactor
Derived Formspatronal (pəˈtrəʊnəl), adjectivepatronly, adjective

Word Origin for patroness

see patron
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

Word Origin and History for patroness

early 15c., from Medieval Latin patronissa, fem. of patronus "protector, defender" (see patron).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper