noun pa·tron \ ˈpā-trən , for sense 6 also pa-ˈtrōⁿ \
|Updated on: 7 Jul 2018

Definition of patron

1 a : 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
[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


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

Examples of patron in a Sentence

  1. She is a well-known patron of the arts.

  2. the wealthy philanthropist is one of the city's most generous patrons of its symphony orchestra

Recent Examples of patron from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

PATRON Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of patron for English Language Learners

  • : 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.

PATRON Defined for Kids


noun pa·tron \ ˈpā-trən \

Definition of patron for Students

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

Word Root of patron

The Latin word pater, meaning “father,” and the Greek word patēr give us the root pater or patr. Anyone or anything paternal, such as an aunt or uncle, is related to one's father. A patriarch is a father and ruler of a family or tribe. A patriot is a person who loves his or her fatherland or country. A patron is a person who gives support and approval for a project or artist, as fathers support and approve of their children.

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peaceful, happy, or prosperous

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