a person who is a customer, client, or paying guest, especially a regular one, of a store, hotel, or the like.
a person who supports with money, gifts, efforts, or endorsement an artist, writer, museum, cause, charity, institution, special event, or the like: a patron of the arts; patrons of the annual Democratic dance.
a person whose support or protection is solicited or acknowledged by the dedication of a book or other work.
Roman History. the protector of a dependent or client, often the former master of a freedman still retaining certain rights over him.
Ecclesiastical. a person who has the right of presenting a member of the clergy to a benefice.

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin patrōnus legal protector, advocate (Medieval Latin: lord, master), derivative of pater father. See pattern

patronal, patronly, adjective
patrondom, patronship, noun
patronless, adjective
subpatronal, adjective Unabridged


noun, plural patrones [pah-traw-nes] . Spanish.
(in Mexico and the southwestern U.S.) a boss; employer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
patron1 (ˈpeɪtrən)
1.  a person, esp a man, who sponsors or aids artists, charities, etc; protector or benefactor
2.  a customer of a shop, hotel, etc, esp a regular one
3.  See patron saint
4.  (in ancient Rome) the protector of a dependant or client, often the former master of a freedman still retaining certain rights over him
5.  Christianity a person or body having the right to present a clergyman to a benefice
[C14: via Old French from Latin patrōnus protector, from pater father]

patron2 (patrɔ̃)
a man, who owns or manages a hotel, restaurant, or bar

patron3 (ˈpætərn)
(Irish) a variant spelling of pattern

pattern or patron2 (ˈpætərn)
(Irish) an outdoor assembly with religious practices, traders' stalls, etc on the feast day of a patron saint
[C18: variant of patron1; see pattern1]
patron or patron2
[C18: variant of patron1; see pattern1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"a lord-master, a protector," c.1300, from O.Fr. patrun (12c.), from M.L. patronus "patron saint, bestower of a benefice, lord, master, model, pattern," from L. patronus "defender, protector, advocate," from pater (gen. patris) "father." Meaning "one who advances the cause" (of an artist, institution,
etc.), usually by the person's wealth and power, is attested from late 14c.; "commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery" [Johnson]. Commercial sense of "regular customer" first recorded c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
You simply grip the door handle, pull, step aside and let the patron in.
We create dishes, culinarily and visually balanced, and are not willing to
  change them on the whim of a patron.
Keeping a lab funded would be even more of a time-consuming beauty contest if
  every researcher had to find and woo a rich patron.
Today the French king is remembered as an inspired patron of the arts.
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