Simple Definition of patronize
: to give money or support to (someone or something)
: to talk to (someone) in a way that shows that you believe you are more intelligent or better than other people
: to be a frequent or regular customer or user of (a place)
Full Definition of patronize
Examples of patronize in a sentence
For the court to come around, at this late date, to acknowledging our existence as “free persons” is shockingly patronizing; it's condescension that has been cast as liberation. —John Cloud, Time, 7 July 2003
She spoke dryly, but she had to admit that the girl did not mean to patronize, and was pleasant, the way she talked right to Stephen instead of across him the way most people did. —Ursula K. Le Guin, New Yorker, 28 Sept. 1987
My feelings seem to have been confused and blurred, tinged with sentimentality, colored by a great deal of folklore, and wobbling always between a patronizing affection, fostered by my elders, and downright hostility. —William Styron, This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, (l953) 1982
The family patronizes the arts.
He hated being patronized and pitied by those who didn't believe his story.
“I'm sure you did your best even though you failed.” “Please don't patronize.”
I patronize the library regularly.
What Is the Difference Between condescending and patronizing?
Very few words in English have exactly the same meaning; even words which appear to be entirely synonymous often will be found to have small differences in certain contexts. The words condescending and patronizing present a fine example of this. At first glance these words appear to be defined somewhat circularly: condescending often has the word "patronizing" in its definition, and patronize is defined, in part, as “to adopt an air of condescension toward.”
But both of these words have specialized senses that lend a shade of meaning to their synonymous senses. Patronizing can mean "giving support to" or "being a customer of," suggesting that the "condescending" sense implies superiority gained through a donor-dependent relationship.
The verb condescend used to be free of any hint of the offensive superiority it usually suggests today. It could mean literally "to go or come down" or, figuratively, "to willingly lower oneself to another’s level," senses that are still occasionally encountered in writings on the Bible. The idea of self-consciously lowering oneself is implied in the "patronizing" sense of condescending.
Origin of patronize
First Known Use: 1589
Rhymes with patronize
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PATRONIZE Defined for Kids
Definition of patronize for Students
1 : to act as a supporter of <He patronizes the arts.>
2 : to be a customer of <She prefers to patronize a neighborhood store.>
3 : to treat (a person) as if he or she were not as good or less important
Seen and Heard
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