Definition of patronize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpatrənʌɪz/
(also patronise)


[with object]
1 (often as adjective patronizing) Treat with an apparent kindness which betrays a feeling of superiority: ‘She’s a good-hearted girl,’ he said in a patronizing voice
More example sentences
  • Despite the superior and patronizing tone of his voice, there was a deep concern.
  • Removing responsibility from victims is not a kindness; it is patronizing and perpetuates the problem.
  • These last shots betray a sentimentality and patronizing attitude inherent in the film's setting.
treat condescendingly, treat with condescension, condescend to, look down on, talk down to, put down, humiliate, treat like a child, treat as inferior, treat with disdain, treat scornfully/contemptuously, be snobbish to, look down one's nose at
condescending, supercilious, superior, imperious, haughty, lofty, lordly, magisterial, disdainful, scornful, contemptuous, cavalier, snobbish, pompous
informal uppity, high and mighty, snooty, stuck-up, fancy-pants
British informal toffee-nosed
2Frequent (a shop, restaurant, or other establishment) as a customer: he’s a denizen of flashy pubs patronized by the underworld
More example sentences
  • Some customers patronize the store every two or three months; some of the very top spenders come in three to five times a week.
  • In the ad, a father tries to explain to his son why no customers patronize the family restaurant, which mainly sells pork meat-ball soup.
  • People who do not travel into cities to work are much less likely to patronize restaurants, theatres and shops.
do business with, buy from, shop at, be a customer of, be a client of, bring trade/custom to, deal with, trade with;
frequent, haunt, attend, visit;
subscribe to, join, become a member of, support
informal hang out at
3Give financial or other support to (a person, organization, or cause): she patronizes worthy causes
More example sentences
  • Opposite this building was the Alexandra Tea Room, at 18 Rissik Street, which Gandhi used to patronise and support financially, and where he promoted vegetarianism.
  • Is it really the type of organization you should be patronizing?
  • Members create, finance and patronize the cooperative.
sponsor, back, fund, finance, be a patron of, promote, further, foster, help, aid, assist, support, encourage, champion, protect



Pronunciation: /patrənʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • This is a display of nauseating deference; a offensive patronization of the man matched only by his undeserved canonisation.
  • France, more so Paris, is known for appreciation and patronisation of finer things of life.
  • She looks down at me, sympathetic with a hint of patronization.


Pronunciation: /ˈpatrənʌɪzə/
Example sentences
  • As parties, they're all the same to me now: populists, cynics, game-players and patronisers of one sort or another.
  • The organising committee might just wonder whether it is worth the aggravation sending some of its patronisers to the doghouse.


Pronunciation: /ˈpatrənʌɪzɪŋli/
Example sentences
  • Here, he smiles patronizingly and thinks for a minute, and says ‘Are you out here all the time?’
  • ‘I'm your worst nightmare, love’ I said as patronizingly as possible.
  • And this sounds so patronizingly middle class of me, but that's not how I mean it.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pat¦ron|ize

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