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

Although this is the inaugural King’s Cup Regatta, which benefits several of the Duke and Duchess’s patronages, the physical trophy given to the winner has a long association with the British royal family. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See Adorable New Photographs of Prince George and Princess Charlotte Enjoying a Very British Boat Race," 8 Aug. 2019 Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is making big moves for her royal patronage, Smart Works, a nonprofit that supports women entering the workforce by providing resources such as training and clothing for interviews. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Teases Her Charitable New Collection on Instagram," 31 July 2019 Thanks to their patronage, not to mention plugs on their show and social media accounts, mom-and-pop restaurant Health Nut is benefiting from a growth spurt. Khanh T.l. Tran, The Hollywood Reporter, "Drink and Dish: Patton Oswalt's Comedy Dinner, Miley Cyrus-Approved Vegan Hot Spot," 30 July 2019 The libraries in West Ridge and Little Italy were deemed outdated and too small to meet the needs of the current patronage, and the Irving Park branch had a fire in 2015 and needed a new structure altogether. Darcel Rockett,, "Chicago’s 3 new apartment-library developments offer fresh take on mixed-use buildings," 15 July 2019 In addition, state patronage, gerrymandering, and outright rigging have been used to manufacture a super majority in the house. Moses Khisa, Quartz Africa, "President Museveni has twisted Uganda’s constitution to cling to power," 21 June 2019 Tillerson had launched a management overhaul at State that is projected to take years, to the annoyance of some senior White House officials eager to dispense political patronage jobs. Anne Gearan, Washington Post, "In the end, no one was more surprised that Tillerson was fired than Tillerson," 13 Mar. 2018 Set against that backdrop, a return to the indulgence and patronage of the pre-Tsipras era would be calamitous. The Economist, "Family trouble," 4 July 2019 That scene was filmed at Julius’, a real bar in New York and one of the older sites of gay activism and patronage in the city. Jenna Wortham, New York Times, "The Joy of Queer Parties: ‘We Breathe, We Dip, We Flex’," 26 June 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

20 Aug 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).


recurring in steady succession

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