Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[pey-truh-nij, pa‐] /ˈpeɪ trə nɪdʒ, ˈpæ‐/
the financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests.
patrons collectively; clientele.
the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.
offices, jobs, or other favors so controlled.
the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one's party or political campaign.
a condescending manner or attitude in granting favors, in dealing with people, etc.; condescension:
an air of patronage toward his business subordinates.
the position, encouragement, influence, or support of a patron, as toward an artist, institution, etc.
the right of presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice; advowson.
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French; see patron, -age
Related forms
propatronage, adjective
1. custom, commerce, trade. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for patronage
  • These are places and businesses worthy of your patronage.
  • Without that patronage, I don't know that it would have gotten published.
  • Finding a job at a Web site can be like securing the patronage of a 15th-century benefactor.
  • My chief occupation is going around with a forked stick picking up little fragments of patronage for my constituents.
  • Then practicality might start to become a driving concern behind these projects rather than patronage jobs and land buy-outs.
  • It ran eight years, and was then closed for want of patronage.
  • Its grip on state institutions and patronage is unlikely to be challenged.
  • Some of the benefits of patronage are undeniable.
  • He now directed his literary activities to the two ends of winning powerful patronage and establishing himself in public esteem.
  • The state said the use of the school system for patronage has continued.
British Dictionary definitions for patronage


  1. the support given or custom brought by a patron or patroness
  2. the position of a patron
(in politics)
  1. the practice of making appointments to office, granting contracts, etc
  2. the favours so distributed
  1. a condescending manner
  2. any kindness done in a condescending way
(Christianity) the right to present a clergyman to a benefice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for patronage

late 14c., "right of presenting a qualified person to a church benefice," from Old French patronage (14c.) from patron (see patron). Secular sense of "action of giving influential support" is from 1550s. General sense of "power to give jobs or favors" is from 1769; meaning "regular business of customers" is 1804.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
patronage in Culture
patronage [(pay-truh-nij, pat-ruh-nij)]

The power of a government official or leader to make appointments and offer favors. Once in office, a politician can use patronage to build a loyal following. Though practiced at all levels of government, patronage is most often associated with the machine politics of big cities. (See spoils system.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for patronage

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for patronage

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with patronage