Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that supports, protects, or champions someone or something, such as an institution, event, or cause; a sponsor or benefactor: a patron of the arts.
  • n. A customer, especially a regular customer.
  • n. The owner or manager of an establishment, especially a restaurant or an inn of France or Spain.
  • n. A noble or wealthy person in ancient Rome who granted favor and protection to someone in exchange for certain services.
  • n. A slave owner in ancient Rome who freed a slave without relinquishing all legal claim to him.
  • n. One who possesses the right to grant an ecclesiastical benefice to a member of the clergy.
  • n. A patron saint.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A supporter
  • n. A customer
  • n. A property owner who hires a contractor for construction works
  • n. An influential, wealthy person who supported an artist, craftsman, a scholar or a noble.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Doing the duty of a patron; giving aid or protection; tutelary.
  • n. One who protects, supports, or countenances; a defender.
  • n.
  • n. A master who had freed his slave, but still retained some paternal rights over him.
  • n. A man of distinction under whose protection another person placed himself.
  • n. An advocate or pleader.
  • n. One who encourages or helps a person, a cause, or a work; a furtherer; a promoter.
  • n. One who has gift and disposition of a benefice.
  • n. A guardian saint. -- called also patron saint.
  • n. See Padrone, 2.
  • transitive v. To be a patron of; to patronize; to favor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who holds a relation of superiority and service analogous to that of a father; hence, a protector.
  • n. Specifically— Among the Romans, a master who had freed his slave, or a father who had emancipated his child, and retained some rights over him after his emancipation—those who succeeded to the master or father, as the case might be, usually becoming the patrons in his place.
  • n. A Roman of distinction under whose protection auother, called the client, placed himself.
  • n. In Greek antiquity, an advocate or pleader; a guardian; an official or legal intermediary.
  • n. One who protects, countenances, supports, or encourages a person or a work; an encourager, protector, or favorer: as, a patron of the fine arts.
  • n. A special guardian or protector; a saint whose special care is invoked, and who is regarded as a special guardian: as, St. Crispin, the patron (or patron saint) of shoemakers.
  • n. Eccles., one who has the right to present a clergyman to an ecclesiastical living, or to other preferment; the person who has the gift and disposition of a benefice.
  • n. A master; a host or landlord.
  • n. The master or captain of a galley or other vessel; the officer in command of a ship.
  • n. A cartridge-case, a small cylinder of leather, wood, or metal: same as bandoleer, 3; by extension, a larger case for holding several cartridges.
  • n. A pattern; a model; an example. See pattern.
  • Chosen as patron; supposed to act as patron; tutelary: as, a patron saint.
  • To treat, conduct, or manage as a patron; patronize.
  • n. The festival held on a saint's day.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the proprietor of an inn
  • n. someone who supports or champions something
  • n. a regular customer

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin patrōnus, from Latin, from pater, patr-, father; see pəter- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English patron, reborrowed from Latin patronus, derived from pater "father". (Wiktionary)

Examples

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