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[pey-truh-nahyz, pa‐] /ˈpeɪ trəˌnaɪz, ˈpæ‐/
verb (used with object), patronized, patronizing.
to give (a store, restaurant, hotel, etc.) one's regular patronage; trade with.
to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward:
a professor who patronizes his students.
to act as a patron toward (an artist, institution, etc.); support.
Also, especially British, patronise.
Origin of patronize
1580-90; patron + -ize
Related forms
patronizable, adjective
patronization, noun
patronizer, noun
repatronize, verb (used with object), repatronized, repatronizing.
transpatronize, verb (used with object), transpatronized, transpatronizing.
unpatronizable, adjective
well-patronized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for patronize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It would be better to patronize him than to be patronized by him.

    The Search Grace Livingston Hill
  • And you sit there and—swing your foot and—and patronize—and call him a fool.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It would be quite odious for me to come talking to you as if I could patronize you.

    The American Henry James
  • Edna Keith was older than she, but not old enough to patronize.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • And had he noticed a little disposition to patronize on two or three occasions?

    The Golden House Charles Dudley Warner
  • If we get hungry before we reach Los Angeles, we'll patronize the diner.

    Tabitha's Vacation Ruth Alberta Brown
  • Why did you go to the Casino to-night, if you did not patronize the tables as a rule?

British Dictionary definitions for patronize


to behave or treat in a condescending way
(transitive) to act as a patron or patroness by sponsoring or bringing trade to
Derived Forms
patronizer, patroniser, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for patronize

1580s, "to act as a patron towards," from patron + -ize, or from Old French patroniser. Meaning "treat in a condescending way" is first attested 1797; sense of "give regular business to" is from 1801. Related: Patronized; patronizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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