Definition of patron in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpeɪtr(ə)n/


1A person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, or cause: a celebrated patron of the arts
More example sentences
  • But the festival enjoys great support from some 20 local organisations, friends, patrons and the district council.
  • These achievements should be shared with our sponsors, patrons and supporters.
  • The organisers are deeply grateful for the support of patrons over the past months.
sponsor, backer, financier, subsidizer, underwriter, guarantor, benefactor/benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor;
philanthropist, promoter, friend, helper, supporter, upholder, advocate, champion, protector
informal angel
rare Maecenas
1.1A distinguished person who takes an honorary position in a charity: the Mental Health Foundation, of which Her Royal Highness is Patron
More example sentences
  • The countess, who is is the official patron of the charity's 18th birthday, joined Esther on a visit to its Yorkshire and North East headquarters in Leeds yesterday.
  • As patron of the charity Age Concern, he attended the launch of its Business Pledge campaign to encourage employers to recruit the over-50s.
  • Princess Anne is the patron of the national charity and will address more than 1,200 delegates at the University of York's Central Hall.
2A customer of a shop, restaurant, etc., especially a regular one: we surveyed the plushness of the hotel and its sleek, well-dressed patrons
More example sentences
  • Most of his customers are regular patrons, many of whom are foreigners.
  • The aim was to make the area more attractive to business and more welcoming to regular patrons and visitors.
  • These customers will most likely turn into regular patrons.
customer, client, frequenter;
shopper, buyer, purchaser, consumer, diner, user, visitor, guest, member of the audience/crowd;
(patrons) clientele
informal regular
3 Roman History A patrician in relation to a client.
Example sentences
  • They are the most obvious sign that hospitality helped to articulate the patron/client relations that permeated Roman society.
  • A typical patrician noble, he saw his world in terms of personal ambition, Roman patriotism, family loyalty, and patron-client relationships.
  • In ancient Rome clients were plebeians who were bound in a subservient relationship with their patrician patron.
3.1The former owner and (frequently) protector of a freed slave.
Example sentences
  • Sometimes the new feudal lord was welcomed as a patron and protector.
  • He needed a patron to protect his new found freedom and often looked to his former master to champion him.
4British , chiefly historical A person or institution with the right to grant a benefice to a member of the clergy.
Example sentences
  • Here those favoring the wealthy are following social convention and may even see themselves securing the benefaction of the patron for the church.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin patronus 'protector of clients, defender', from pater, patr- 'father'.

  • pattern from Middle English:

    Originally pattern and patron were the same word. Patron comes, via French, from Latin patronus ‘protector of clients, defender’, a sense which explains J. K. Rowling's use of ‘Patronus’ for a spell that produces a protecting animal in the Harry Potter books. The word goes back to pater ‘father’ ( see further under pope). The word pattern developed from the idea of a patron giving an example to be copied. The swapping round of sounds (metathesis) of the vowel and the ‘r’ occurred in the 16th century, and by 1700 patron ceased to be used of things, and the two forms developed different senses.

Words that rhyme with patron


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pa¦tron

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