pa·​tron | \ˈpā-trən, for sense 6 also pa-ˈtrōⁿ \

Definition of patron 

1a : a person chosen, named, or honored as a special guardian, protector, or supporter a patron of the arts

b : a wealthy or influential supporter of an artist or writer … the unspoken contract between artist and patron— D. D. R. Owen

c : a social or financial sponsor of a social function (such as a ball or concert) a patron of the annual masked ball

2 : one that uses wealth or influence to help an individual, an institution, or a cause a patron of the city library

3 : one who buys the goods or uses the services offered especially by an establishment a restaurant's patrons

4 : the holder of the right of presentation to an English ecclesiastical benefice

5 : a master in ancient times who freed his slave but retained some rights over him

6 [ French, from Middle French ] : the proprietor of an establishment (such as an inn) especially in France

7 : the chief male officer in some fraternal lodges having both men and women members

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Other Words from patron

patronal \ ˈpā-​trə-​nᵊl ; British  pə-​ˈtrō-​nᵊl, pa-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for patron


account, client, customer, guest, punter [chiefly British]

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Examples of patron in a Sentence

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

Gambino's Forever Childish fansite has speculated that the events are free of charge for patrons. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Childish Gambino Announces 'Summertime Starts Here' Experience Series," 13 July 2018 On the menu: From signature soups such as French onion and a hearty chili, to meal-worthy salads ranging from Caesar and California Cobb, starter courses are often suitable for patrons as a lunch option. Philip Potempa, Daily Southtown, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Flossmoor Station and Brewery," 7 July 2018 The threat of losing the right to borrow has proven to be a stronger incentive for patrons, Kambitsch said. Cornelius Frolik, ajc, "Since Ohio library ended late fees, more materials getting returned," 6 July 2018 The Glenview Park District Board of Commissioners approved June 28 two new policies that officials say aim to increase inclusion for transgender patrons and employees. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Glenview Park Board approves new policies for transgender patrons and employees," 3 July 2018 During this period, St. Germain-des-Prés was in the midst of a jazz craze, and the Lutetia hosted frequent jazz performances in its bar — Josephine Baker crooned for patrons as did the French singers Boris Vian and Juliette Greco. New York Times, "An Enduring Paris Hotel in a New Light," 1 June 2018 But, according to some patrons, the store, which opened in March, has already amassed a legion of loyal customers. Graham Ambrose,, "Free coffee — with a catch — is coming to Massachusetts," 14 July 2018 Image Friday the 13th is the patron day of black cat crossings, devious witches, shattered mirrors, suspicious ladders — and cheap tattoos. Zoe Greenberg, New York Times, "Friday the 13th, a ‘Tattoo Holiday’," 13 July 2018 From morning till night, hungry patrons flock to these casual eateries to chow down on hearty comfort foods and people-watch from tables on outdoor terraces. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Parisian Bistro Is Disappearing," 12 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of patron

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

History and Etymology for patron

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

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Statistics for patron

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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

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More Definitions for patron



English Language Learners Definition of patron

: a person who gives money and support to an artist, organization, etc.

: a person who buys the goods or uses the services of a business, library, etc.


pa·​tron | \ˈpā-trən \

Kids Definition of patron

1 : a person who gives generous support or approval

2 : customer

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