pa·​tron·​age | \ ˈpa-trə-nij How to pronounce patronage (audio) , ˈpā- How to pronounce patronage (audio) \

Definition of patronage

1 : advowson
2 : the support or influence of a patron the patronage of science by universities
3 : kindness done with an air of superiority The prince deigned to bestow his patronage on the composer.
4 : business or activity provided by patrons the new branch library is expected to have a heavy patronage
5a : the power to make appointments to government jobs especially for political advantage oust his enemies from office and use the patronage to support his policies— H. K. Beale
b : the distribution of jobs on the basis of patronage The governor filled the vacated positions through patronage.
c : jobs distributed by patronage the government's vast network of patronage

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Synonyms for patronage


aegis (also egis), auspice, backing, sponsorship

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Examples of patronage in a Sentence

The college relied on the patronage of its wealthy graduates to expand its funds. They thanked her for her patronage of the new hospital. The city should do more to encourage patronage of local businesses. a system of political patronage
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made mental health an important cause for them, and have supported it through a wide variety of patronages. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Just Announced a Partnership with Oprah on a New Mental Health TV Series," 10 Apr. 2019 Mayhew, an animal welfare charity recently named one of Meghan Markle's patronages, is going all in on the royal tie-in to help its four-legged charges. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle's Patronage Mayhew Just Named Kitties After Her, Prince Harry, and Kate Middleton," 31 Jan. 2019 In fact, Meghan will be taking over two of the Queen's longstanding patronages in her new royal role—at the National Theatre in London, and at the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen Attends Church in Sandringham Wearing a Bright Purple Ensemble," 13 Jan. 2019 This would be both Meghan's first royal patronage and a fitting project that ties together her two careers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Actually, There Are "No Plans" for Meghan Markle to Return to Suits," 7 Jan. 2019 Even the things that politicians from different parts of the country did have in common—self-interest and a taste for patronage—reliably turned them into competitors on the national scene. Yascha Mounk, The New Yorker, "The Rise of McPolitics," 12 Jan. 2015 Kensington Palace noted that the Cambridges are slated to host the regatta this summer, in order to raise awareness for eight of their patronages. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Had Some Sweet Words for Prince Harry, After Baby Sussex's Arrival," 7 May 2019 The first time royal watchers saw Meghan in Hatch was when the Duchess visited Smart Works, one of her first charity patronages, in January. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Why Meghan Markle Rarely Wears True Maternity Clothes," 24 Mar. 2019 Meghan's new patronage with The ACU seems like the perfect fit for the Duchess of Sussex. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Works a Little Black Dress and a Bun to Visit the Association of Commonwealth Universities," 31 Jan. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for patronage

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for patronage

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

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More Definitions for patronage



English Language Learners Definition of patronage

: money and support that is given to an artist, organization, etc.
chiefly US, somewhat formal : support that is given to a business, library, etc., by buying its goods or using its services
often disapproving : the power to give jobs or provide other help to people as a reward for their support


pa·​tron·​age | \ ˈpa-trə-nij How to pronounce patronage (audio) , ˈpā-trə-\

Kids Definition of patronage

1 : the help or business given by a supporter
2 : a group of customers (as of a shop or theater)
3 : the control by officials of giving out jobs, contracts, and favors

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