verb (used with object), pa·tron·ized, pa·tron·iz·ing.
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OTHER WORDS FROM patronize
Words nearby patronize
What does patronize mean?
To patronize is to be a customer (or patron) of a business or other establishment.
In this sense, patronize most often means to be a paying customer, especially a regular one. However, you can patronize establishments that are not businesses—you can patronize a library, for example.
Example: I patronize local shops and restaurants whenever I can in order to support people in my own community, instead of enriching faceless corporations.
Patronize also means to act condescendingly toward a person in a way that arrogantly implies that you’re being kind or helpful to that person. This often takes the form of speaking to someone as if they were a child. Someone who acts in this way can be described as patronizing.
Example: Don’t patronize me, Jeff—I understand the topic just as well as you do.
Where does patronize come from?
The first records of patronize come from around 1590. Its base word, patron, comes from the Latin patrōnus, meaning “legal protector” or “advocate” (patrōnus comes from the Latin pater, meaning “father”). The suffix -ize makes it into a verb essentially meaning “to be a patron of.”
A patron is a customer or a supporter of a particular institution (a patron of the arts, for example). To patronize, then, typically means to support a business by being a loyal customer—frequently shopping there, as opposed to only buying something once a year on Small Business Saturday. This sense of the word is usually positive, but the condescending sense is always negative.
To patronize someone in this condescending way is to treat them as if they’re in need of extra help because they’re not capable by themselves. This is often done with a patronizing tone. Another way to patronize someone is to tell them what you think they want to hear.
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What are some other forms related to patronize?
- patronizing (adjective)
- patronizer (noun)
- repatronize (verb)
- patronization (noun)
- patrionizable (adjective)
- patron (noun)
What are some words that share a root or word element with patronize?
What are some words that often get used in discussing patronize?
How is patronize used in real life?
When it refers to being a customer or patron, patronize is usually positive. When it refers to treating a person in a condescending way, it’s always negative.
Not to be 🌽🌽🌽, but we think it's important to remember to patronize local businesses when you go to festivals in Chicago.
— Do312 (@Do312) July 3, 2016
Books are expensive, patronize the library. It's literally FREE.
— let's go Ayo (@letsgoayo) May 6, 2014
Sexist bike shop rant.
I know what size tube I need.
I know how to put my own cleats in.
Don’t patronize me.
Don’t argue with me.
— Nikki Usher, Ph.D. (@nikkiusher) July 10, 2020
Try using patronize!
True or False?
In the context of being a customer, patronize only means to be a customer of local businesses.
Example sentences from the Web for patronize
People exercise judgment all the time about what products to buy, what media to consume and what businesses they will patronize.
He owes it to himself as much as he does to the people he is so keen to criticize, or at least patronize.
Like everyone else in America who tries not to patronize the fever swamps, I went "huh?"
Especially should we refuse to patronize the quack advertiser.How to Live|Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk
The people who patronize him in the week have no use for him on Sunday.Lights and Shadows of New York Life|James D. McCabe
The little artist and I went into Spain with the firm determination not to patronize the bull-fight.Spanish Highways and Byways|Katharine Lee Bates
She was capable and kindly, and our friendship became firmly rooted when she discovered that we intended to patronize her shop.Paris Vistas|Helen Davenport Gibbons
He tended to patronize them, and he began to deal with them rather informally and much too confidently.On the Stairs|Henry B. Fuller