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[pey-truh n] /ˈpeɪ trən/
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.
Origin of patron
1250-1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin patrōnus legal protector, advocate (Medieval Latin: lord, master), derivative of pater father. See pattern
Related forms
patronal, patronly, adjective
patrondom, patronship, noun
patronless, adjective
subpatronal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for patrons
  • Not every library item can go online tomorrow with patrons charged no fees for access.
  • So a restaurant either sells wine to its patrons or allows them to bring their own, but not both.
  • patrons are not allowed to carry beverages or food into the auditorium.
  • Early laws fixed the price that tavern-keepers could charge for a drink, so they couldn't cater to wealthy patrons.
  • Everywhere in the country librarians report that they have never had so many patrons.
  • Rulers, who were also patrons of the arts, invited foreign craftsmen to court and imported their works.
  • patrons should enjoy their refreshments in the lobby area.
  • The better you dance, the more money you'll collect from your patrons.
  • The three continued to smoke after midnight, without incident, and patrons at nearby stools and tables did the same.
  • University librarians are turning to their patrons for ideas on how to improve library services.
British Dictionary definitions for patrons


a person, esp a man, who sponsors or aids artists, charities, etc; protector or benefactor
a customer of a shop, hotel, etc, esp a regular one
(in ancient Rome) the protector of a dependant or client, often the former master of a freedman still retaining certain rights over him
(Christianity) a person or body having the right to present a clergyman to a benefice
Derived Forms
patronal (pəˈtrəʊnəl) adjective
patronly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin patrōnus protector, from pater father


a man, who owns or manages a hotel, restaurant, or bar


(Irish) a variant spelling of pattern2
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for patrons



"a lord-master, a protector," c.1300, from Old French patron "patron, protector, patron saint" (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin patronus "patron saint, bestower of a benefice, lord, master, model, pattern," from Latin patronus "defender, protector, former master (of a freed slave); advocate," from pater (genitive patris) "father" (see father (n.)). 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. Patron saint (1717) originally was simply patron (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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