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 patronD. 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

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 Queen Camilla has been the patron of Medical Detection Dogs since 2014. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 10 July 2024 Deputies moved patrons away from the area and monitored the bear until Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers arrived. Brooke Baitinger, Idaho Statesman, 9 July 2024 Just inside the entrance, a marble bar beckons patrons to settle into mahogany and velvet chairs to enjoy their libations. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 5 July 2024 The works from the Fort Lauderdale arts patron (and creator of the original FAT Village) include more than 100 pieces from five artists: Hank Willis Thomas, Liesa Cole, Karen Graffeo, Sheila Pree Bright and Spider Martin. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 4 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for patron 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'patron.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 23 Jul. 2024.

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)

Middle English patroun "a special guardian or protector," from early French patrun, patron (same meaning), from Latin patronus "patron, patron saint," from earlier patronus "defender," from patr-, pater "father" — related to padre, paternal, pattern

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