Definition of patron in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpātrən/


1A person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity: Charles became a patron of Rubens and van Dyck 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, benefactor, benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor;
philanthropist, promoter, friend, supporter
informal angel
2A customer, especially a regular one, of a store, restaurant, or theater: 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, consumer, user, visitor, guest
informal regular, habitué
3 short for patron saint.
4(In ancient Rome) a patrician in relation to a client. See also client (sense 3).
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.
4.1(In ancient Rome) the 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.
5British 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

Syllabification: pa·tron

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