pa·​tron ˈpā-trən How to pronounce patron (audio)
for sense 6 also
pa-ˈtrōⁿ How to pronounce patron (audio)
plural patrons
: a person chosen, named, or honored as a special guardian, protector, or supporter
a patron of the arts
: a wealthy or influential supporter of an artist or writer
… the unspoken contract between artist and patron D. D. R. Owen
: a social or financial sponsor of a social function (such as a ball or concert)
a patron of the annual masked ball
: one that uses wealth or influence to help an individual, an institution, or a cause
a patron of the city library
: one who buys the goods or uses the services offered especially by an establishment
a restaurant's patrons
: the holder of the right of presentation to an English ecclesiastical benefice
: a master (see master entry 1 sense 2g) in ancient times who freed a person he had held in slavery but retained some rights over that person
[French, from Middle French] : the proprietor of an establishment (such as an inn) especially in France
: the chief male officer in some fraternal lodges having both men and women members
ˈpā-trə-nᵊl How to pronounce patron (audio)
 British  pə-ˈtrō-nᵊl

Example Sentences

She is a well-known patron of the arts. the wealthy philanthropist is one of the city's most generous patrons of its symphony orchestra
Recent Examples on the Web That feat won the attention of a party figure, Wang Daohan, who would become a lifelong patron of Mr. Jiang’s. Michael Wines, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2022 In his absence, Penny had taken up the ceremonial roles and duties that Norton had been responsible for, becoming the High Steward of Romsey and patron of Romsey Agricultural and Horse Show Society. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 10 Nov. 2022 The staff quickly recognize him — not because of his growing popularity as a genre-agnostic indie performer, but as a frequent patron of the restaurant’s Sinaloan cuisine, which feels like home for the half-Mexican, half-Black American artist. Neena Rouhani, Billboard, 7 Nov. 2022 The foundation was the leading patron of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s European art department since the museum’s founding more than half a century ago but severed that relationship in 2020. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2022 Rather than functioning as a partner investing in long-term careers, or benevolent patron of the arts, major labels prefer to bet on later-stage artists who are on the verge of a hit that the label can sink its teeth into owning. Milan Kordestani, Rolling Stone, 14 Sep. 2022 The new king, a long patron of the arts, is already regularly quoting Shakespeare in his public interventions. Max Colchester, WSJ, 12 Sep. 2022 In addition to her work in business, Beatrice is also charitable patron of several organizations, mainly focusing on children's welfare and education, according to her father's website. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 9 Sep. 2022 The former Linell Chenault Nash, daughter of Frederick Ogden Nash, and his wife, Frances Leonard Nash, a homemaker and patron of the arts, was born in New York City, and later moved with her family to a home on Rugby Road in Guilford. Baltimore Sun, 20 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patron.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin patronus patron saint, patron of a benefice, pattern, from Latin, defender, from patr-, pater

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of patron was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near patron

Cite this Entry

“Patron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



pa·​tron ˈpā-trən How to pronounce patron (audio)
: a person chosen as a special guardian or supporter
a patron of poets
: one who gives generous support or approval
a patron of the arts
: a person who buys the goods or uses the services offered (as by a business)

More from Merriam-Webster on patron

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