patron saint


Definition of patron saint 

1 : a saint to whose protection and intercession a person, a society, a church, or a place is dedicated

2 : an original leader or prime exemplar

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Examples of patron saint in a Sentence

St. David is the patron saint of Wales. St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. The success of her books has made her the patron saint of a new literary movement.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Trump is the presidential version of 4chan denizens adopting Bane and the Joker as patron saints: some men want to watch the world burn, others salivate at the prospect of beating up protestors. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Trump is embracing amoral villainy (and making HBO mad) with a Game of Thrones tweet," 2 Nov. 2018 Early in her career, Trattner worked in a plastic surgeon’s office, helping patients with their recovery processes, and mentored under Andrew Weil — Harvard M.D. and patron saint of holistic health. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "Meet the Woman Who Uses Alternative Medicine and Gemstone Facials to Treat Patients," 19 Oct. 2018 Oscar Romero may not formally be the patron saint of abolishing capitalism. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Oscar Romero, a martyr for social justice and the newest Catholic saint, explained," 15 Oct. 2018 The film, which airs Monday on PBS, looks at the days and months leading up to the National Pyrotechnic Festival, a 10-day event that honors the patron saint of fireworks makers, San Juan de Dios. Lorraine Ali,, "Review: 'Brimstone & Glory' looks at a small town in Mexico where fireworks are made," 1 July 2018 Soon after, Bella Hadid, veritable patron saint of micro sunnies, stepped out in the unreleased pair. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "No More Tiny Sunglasses: Why Sporty Shades Are Summer’s Coolest Look," 27 June 2018 She is now considered the patron saint of dental diseases, and various churches across Europe have claimed to have some of her teeth. Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, "This Exhibition Has Real Bite," 7 June 2018 Her parents prayed for the intercession of St. Rita, the patron saint of hopeless causes — and the little girl was healed. Atlanta Life, ajc, "‘Good bye, Aunt Rita! I’ll see you on the beach!’," 9 Mar. 2018 People place yellow roses on a memorial for jailed separatists, whom independence supporters consider to be political prisoners, as Catalans celebrate the day of their patron saint, Spain, Monday, April 23, 2018. Washington Post, "Political overtone at Catalan celebration of patron saint," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patron saint.' 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 saint

1703, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for patron saint

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for patron saint

The first known use of patron saint was in 1703

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More Definitions for patron saint

patron saint


English Language Learners Definition of patron saint

: a saint who is believed to protect a particular place or type of person

: a person who is known or admired as a leader or example

patron saint


Kids Definition of patron saint

: a saint to whom a church or society is dedicated

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Comments on patron saint

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