pa·​tron | \ ˈpā-trən How to pronounce patron (audio) , for sense 6 also pa-ˈtrōⁿ How to pronounce patron (audio) \
plural patrons

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 (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
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from patron

patronal \ ˈpā-​trə-​nᵊl How to pronounce patron (audio) ; British  pə-​ˈtrō-​nᵊl , pa-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for patron


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Theo Van Gogh was Vincent's younger brother and patron. Ernesto Pineda, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 Gill’s chief patron in La Jolla was the left-leaning newspaperwoman Ellen Browning Scripps. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021 But Banks was also eager to be Mai’s patron for another reason. Hampton Sides, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Sep. 2021 Ace begins to see how the line between wrestling and real-life heeldom blur after spending an impromptu afternoon watching Wild Bill take out his frustrations on a fellow bar patron. Kimberly Potts, Vulture, 5 Sep. 2021 About thirty-five artists signed up for the plan with the understanding that should a patron decide to purchase the artwork the rental price would be subtracted and payment could be made on an installment plan, the author writes. Jacques Kelly,, 4 Sep. 2021 All businesses will be expected to require proof of vaccination for any patron who is at least 12 years old. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Sep. 2021 In the meantime, masking will be a patron’s choice unless required by a particular performer. David Lyman, The Enquirer, 31 Aug. 2021 Leakes, 53, made her comments after people in the crowd chastised her for not wishing a patron a happy birthday. Sara Netzley,, 30 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About patron

Time Traveler for patron

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near patron




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for patron

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Patron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce patron (audio) \

Kids Definition of patron

1 : a person who gives generous support or approval
2 : customer

More from Merriam-Webster on patron

Nglish: Translation of patron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of patron for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!