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


displaying or indicative of an offensively condescending manner: a patronizing greeting, accompanied by a gentle pat on the pack.

Origin of patronizing

First recorded in 1720–30; patronize + -ing2
Related formspa·tron·iz·ing·ly, adverbnon·pa·tron·iz·ing, adjectivequa·si-pa·tron·iz·ing, adjectivequa·si-pa·tron·iz·ing·ly, adverbun·pa·tron·iz·ing, adjectiveun·pa·tron·iz·ing·ly, adverb


[pey-truh-nahyz, pa‐]

verb (used with object), pa·tron·ized, pa·tron·iz·ing.

to give (a store, restaurant, hotel, etc.) one's regular patronage; trade with.
to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward: a professor who patronizes his students.
to act as a patron toward (an artist, institution, etc.); support.
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for patronizing

snobbish, arrogant, pretentious, snobby, condescendence, paternalism

Examples from the Web for patronizing

Contemporary Examples of patronizing

Historical Examples of patronizing

  • Jacques patronizing the fool, is one of the rarest shows of self-ignorance.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • Stella was very kind to me, but in a superior, patronizing way.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • Some fell to patronizing him, some to advising him, and some to sneering at the hubbub he was making.

  • He was referring, of course, to his having branched out into patronizing the Arts.

    Zero Data

    Charles Saphro

  • "She won't be patronizing Elinor after this," thought Patricia with a chuckle.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

British Dictionary definitions for patronizing




having a superior manner; condescending
Derived Formspatronizingly or patronisingly, adverb




to behave or treat in a condescending way
(tr) to act as a patron or patroness by sponsoring or bringing trade to
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 patronizing

1727, past participle adjective from patronize. Related: Patronizingly.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper