Definition of patronage in English:


Line breaks: pa¦tron|age
Pronunciation: /ˈpatr(ə)nɪdʒ
, ˈpeɪt-/


[mass noun]
  • 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, right of appointment, favouritism, nepotism, partisanship, partiality, preferential treatment; the old boy network
  • 4The regular custom attracted by a shop, restaurant, etc.: 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.
  • 5 Roman History The rights and duties or position of a patron.


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

More definitions of patronage

Definition of patronage in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea