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

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 2 Dec. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.