• synonyms


[pey-truh-nahyz, pa‐]
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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.
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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

Related Words for patronize

deign, snub, befriend, frequent, stoop, favor, indulge, help, assist, back, maintain, fund, foster, sponsor, promote, habituate, buy

Examples from the Web for patronize

Contemporary Examples of patronize

Historical Examples of patronize

  • And you sit there and—swing your foot and—and patronize—and call him a fool.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The Captain did not attempt to urge him, neither did he preach or patronize.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • Edna Keith was older than she, but not old enough to patronize.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • If we get hungry before we reach Los Angeles, we'll patronize the diner.

    Tabitha's Vacation

    Ruth Alberta Brown

  • Customers were very rare, the passers-by disinclined to patronize him.

British Dictionary definitions for patronize



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


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper