• synonyms


[pey-truh-nahyz, pa‐]
verb (used with object), pa·tron·ized, pa·tron·iz·ing.
  1. to give (a store, restaurant, hotel, etc.) one's regular patronage; trade with.
  2. to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward: a professor who patronizes his students.
  3. to act as a patron toward (an artist, institution, etc.); support.
Show More
Also especially British, pa·tron·ise.

Origin of patronize

First recorded in 1580–90; patron + -ize
Related formspa·tron·iz·a·ble, adjectivepa·tron·i·za·tion, nounpa·tron·iz·er, nounre·pa·tron·ize, verb (used with object), re·pa·tron·ized, re·pa·tron·iz·ing.trans·pa·tron·ize, verb (used with object), trans·pa·tron·ized, trans·pa·tron·iz·ing.un·pa·tron·iz·a·ble, adjectivewell-pa·tron·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for patronise

Historical Examples of patronise

  • If we patronise "Irish manufacture," it is because we cannot afford English.

    Nuts and Nutcrackers

    Charles James Lever

  • "Patronise Lewis; he cut this trail at his own expense," pleaded one.

  • But I have friends whom they patronise, and my mind is quite open on the subject.

  • Did you ever know your friend Tarbolt patronise this institution before?

    Brother Copas

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • She did not know how it was, but it was very difficult to patronise Mr Hope.


    Harriet Martineau

British Dictionary definitions for patronise



  1. to behave or treat in a condescending way
  2. (tr) to act as a patron or patroness by sponsoring or bringing trade to
Show More
Derived Formspatronizer or 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

Word Origin and History for patronise


chiefly British English spelling of patronize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize.

Show More



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper