pa·​tron·​iz·​ing ˈpā-trə-ˌnī-ziŋ How to pronounce patronizing (audio)
: showing or characterized by a superior attitude towards others : marked by condescension
patronizing comments
No more endearing is his patronizing jocularity …Marilyn Stasio
They say that by continuing to focus solely on the winners, historians have been as patronizing to their subjects as the colonialists themselves.Ethan Bronner
… without being patronizing, she helps her Maasai friends with everything from land disputes to school problems.The New Yorker
patronizingly adverb
Throughout the evening, we've watched Stein alternate between patronizingly taking the students to task for their ignorance and spinning hilariously self-serving tales about his own accomplishments and famous friends. Elisabeth Vincentelli
patronizingness noun
… behaved with an uncertain mixture of sympathy, patronizingness and control. Anna Grimshaw

Examples of patronizing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some worried the policy was Draconian and patronizing. USA TODAY, 3 Jan. 2024 Castro’s government dismisses U.S. concerns as overwrought and patronizing. Karen Deyoung, Washington Post, 2 Oct. 2023 Many find the term extremely offensive and patronizing. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 14 July 2023 Luxuriantly bearded Victorians felt deeply proprietorial about nature, and there was much patronizing sneering. Mary Jo Dilonardo, Treehugger, 25 May 2023 My trepidation was that the streaming show, the brainchild of Ken Daurio and Paul, would be another patronizing lampoon of characters breaking midsentence into song. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 26 May 2023 Perhaps that’s because the cast and crew of the movie-inside-the-movie are all reprehensible, grotesque and spectacularly patronizing. Michael Cavna, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Bush, to his limited credit, at least recognized how off-putting such patronizing attitudes could be. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 16 Dec. 2022 Because of that context, Manion said the word can come off as patronizing and demeaning. Ashley Soebroto,, 6 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'patronizing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of patronizing was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near patronizing

Cite this Entry

“Patronizing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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