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 Duchess of Cambridge's patronage of the gallery was first announced in January 2012. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears a Floral Alexander McQueen Gown at to the National Portrait Gallery Gala," 12 Mar. 2019 Galleries all over the world, representing artists from all over the world, are finding patronage all over the world—with not just collectors but also public institutions and private museums. Isabel Flower, WSJ, "Art Basel’s Global Director on What the Internet Is Doing to the Art World," 12 June 2018 Meghan Markle's first royal patronages were announced in January 2019. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Duchess of Sussex Opens Up About Pet Adoption in Foreword Penned for Animal Charity," 17 June 2019 Commissioners on the authority can earn as much as $170,000 per year in what many insiders consider as a plum, patronage job with lucrative benefits that Republicans said could push the package to more than $240,000. Christopher Keating,, "Senate approves two-year, $43 billion state budget; Gov. Lamont expected to sign," 5 June 2019 In January, the Palace revealed the Duchess has taken on four royal patronages, (the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Mayhew, and Smart Works), all of which are centered on causes close to her heart. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore a White Coat and Printed Dress to the Commonwealth Day Service in London," 11 Mar. 2019 The change cracked open the door for more outsiders to compete in elections, challenging political titans who have long ruled Lebanon based on a sectarian and family patronage system. Washington Post,, "Lebanon votes, but few have hopes for change," 7 May 2018 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

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

9 Jul 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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Comments on patronage

What made you want to look up patronage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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