Definition of patronage in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpatrənəj/
Pronunciation: /ˈpātrənəj/


1The support given by a patron: the arts could no longer depend on private patronage
More example sentences
  • It enjoyed no government funding and no guarantee of private patronage.
  • Exploration, however, depended upon private patronage despite theorists imploring that maritime expansionism should be state-sponsored.
  • As an artist I rely upon the support and patronage of a public audience; I rely upon my words and images being seen as I created them.
sponsorship, backing, funding, financing, promotion, assistance, support
2The power to control appointments to office or the right to privileges: recruits are selected on merit, not through political patronage
More example sentences
  • Imperial authorities also used their powers of patronage or appointment, the mechanisms of taxation, and the provision of public works, to the same end.
  • In the past the civil service was used as an employment office for political patronage.
  • Over-zealous political patronage, greed and power are behind the latest saga, no doubt.
power of appointment, favoritism, nepotism, preferential treatment, cronyism, pork-barreling
3A patronizing or condescending manner: a twang of self-satisfaction—even patronage—about him
More example sentences
  • Without a hint of patronage or condescension, he shows how both characters are victims of circumstance.
4The regular business given to a store, restaurant, or public service by a person or group: the direct train link was ending because of poor patronage
More example sentences
  • I need to prepare for a new chapter in my coffee shop patronage.
  • Immigration has enriched the range of restaurants, and restaurant patronage is rising.
  • At the time we were aboard, there was a small but well selected book collection, which included children's books, that attracted considerable patronage.
custom, trade, business
5(In ancient Rome) the rights and duties or the position of a patron.


Late Middle English: from Old French, from patron 'protector, advocate' (see patron).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pa·tron·age

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.