View synonyms for patronizing


[ pey-truh-nahy-zing, pa- ]


  1. displaying or indicative of an offensively condescending manner:

    a patronizing greeting, accompanied by a gentle pat on the back.


/ ˈpætrəˌnaɪzɪŋ /


  1. having a superior manner; condescending

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Derived Forms

  • ˈpatronˌizingly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • patron·izing·ly adverb
  • non·patron·izing adjective
  • quasi-patron·izing adjective
  • quasi-patron·izing·ly adverb
  • un·patron·izing adjective
  • un·patron·izing·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of patronizing1

First recorded in 1720–30; patronize + -ing 2

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Compare Meanings

How does patronizing compare to similar and commonly confused words? Explore the most common comparisons:

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Example Sentences

These blind spots can make the album’s appeal to just relax and go outside feel a little patronizing at times.

Members of the royal family—including the tsar’s rather bohemian favorite uncle, the aforementioned Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov—began patronizing temperance.

From Time

The sales tax factors in big too, Gin said, since visitors and tourists normally would be patronizing restaurants and shops.

He said Moscow would ignore the patronizing statements of Western leaders on the case.

Mehta was himself accused of highhandedness at times, notably in a 1989 article in the satirical magazine Spy, in which former assistants described him as patronizing and domineering.

It is loathed by some critics who find it patronizing, silly, and superficial.

Many commenters found her essay less empowering and more patronizing.

Among the explorers, a state of mind developed that was patronizing and paternalistic.

We will gladly continue patronizing those stores, but will not be taking our rifles.

Or they might stop patronizing Starbucks and start patronizing a hipster java upstart like Stumptown.

Hence we find them frequently patronizing "mediums" and fortune tellers of various kinds.

His merit was his patriotism, and his patronizing such men as Burke, and bringing them into influence.

Even masters entering through the swinging doors seemed glad to pass beyond the range of the heroes' patronizing contemplation.

She was getting impatient of their patronizing laughter, as if she were a child.

To him, despite his well-exploited and patronizing devotion to them, the lower animals are disgustingly low.


Related Words

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More About Patronizing

What does patronizing mean?

Patronizing is an adjective that means displaying condescension toward a person in a way that arrogantly implies that it’s actually kind or helpful to that person.

Patronizing can be used to describe a person or their words, tone, attitude, or actions.

Patronizing is also the continuous (-ing) form of the verb patronize, which means to act toward someone in this way. (A separate sense of patronize means to be a customer—or patron—of a business or other establishment.)

Being patronizing often takes the form of speaking to someone as if they were a child.

Example: Don’t be so patronizing, Jeff—I understand the topic just as well as you do.

Where does patronizing come from?

The base word of patronizing, patron, comes from the Latin patrōnus, meaning “legal protector” or “advocate” (patrōnus comes from the Latin pater, meaning “father”).

To patronize someone in a 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. Condescending and patronizing are often used as synonyms, but they can have slightly different shades of meaning. A person who’s described as condescending is often intentionally trying to display their supposed superiority through their tone. A person who’s patronizing acts as if they need to share their special knowledge to help out people who aren’t as smart as they are—as if they’re doing them a favor. A person who’s described as patronizing may also be telling a person what they think the person wants to hear.

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What are some other forms related to patronizing?

What are some synonyms for patronizing?

What are some words that share a root or word element with patronizing

What are some words that often get used in discussing patronizing?

How is patronizing used in real life?

When used as an adjective, patronizing is always negative.



Try using patronizing!

Is patronizing used correctly in the following sentence? 

His tone is always so patronizing—as if I’m not his peer.