Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To act as a patron to; support or sponsor.
  • transitive v. To go to as a customer, especially on a regular basis.
  • transitive v. To treat in a condescending manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make a patron.
  • v. To assume a tone of unjustified superiority; to talk down to; to treat condescendingly.
  • v. To make oneself a customer of a business, especially a regular customer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To act as patron toward; to support; to countenance; to favor; to aid.
  • transitive v. To trade with customarily; to frequent as a customer.
  • transitive v. To assume the air of a patron, or of a superior and protector, toward; -- used in an unfavorable sense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act as patron toward; give support or countenance to; favor; assist: as, to patronize an undertaking; to patronize an opinion.
  • To assume the air of a patron toward; notice in a superciliously condescending way.
  • To ascribe to a person as patron or the responsible party.
  • Also spelled patronise.

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

  • v. be a regular customer or client of
  • v. do one's shopping at; do business with; be a customer or client of
  • v. treat condescendingly
  • v. assume sponsorship of

Etymologies

Old English patron (reborrowed from Latin patronus, derived from Latin pater ("father")) +‎ -ize (“(verb ending)”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word patronize can be used about a Starbucks without too much of a pejorative flavor to it, although I patronize Peets almost exclusively!

    Stephen's Lighthouse: What to call library user communities....

  • She had not yet learned to use the word patronize in the social sense, and she was at a loss to describe the attitude of Mrs. Duncan and her daughter, though her instinct had registered it.

    Coniston — Volume 03

  • Mrs. Ludgate was decided by the word patronize: she took the hat, and desired that it should be set down in her bill: but Mrs. la Mode was extremely concerned that she had made a rule, nay a vow, not to take any thing but ready money for the spring hats; and she could not break her vow, even for her favourite Mrs. Ludgate.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 02

  • It would seem that there are only a few artists we can actually 'patronize' enthusiastically--Jim Caviezel, Eduardo Verastegui...

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • This will enable doctors and other medical advisers to refer patients to, and will cause patients to "patronize," the better providers, who, if Teisberg and Porter are right, also will often be the less expensive ones because their quality will in part reflect experience and, in various ways, consequent efficiency.

    The Urgent Need For Information On The Results (I.e., The Outcomes) Of Medical Care

  • They "patronize," he suggests, the real rhythms of American Jews, "their time-honored self-images," not to mention the peculiarly Jewish anxieties and content which exercise Halkin, many Israelis, and, presumably, himself.

    An Exchange on Zionism

  • - Any other areas you are looking forward to "patronize"?

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  • "patronize" is quite the proper word to use in this connection.

    New Faces

  • I'm not going to hurt you or to "patronize":) I hoped that my answer to you and will be useful for others members.

    News

  • But we scarcely believe a respectable audience would not patronize or encourage Negro buffo songs here.

    A Renegade History of the United States

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Comments

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  • 1589 G. HARVEY Pierces Supererog. 99 Lordes on both sides, that Patronise good causes.

    June 5, 2008

  • Contronymic in the sense: condescend vs. support.

    January 27, 2007