from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who holds a relation of superiority and service analogous to that of a father; hence, a protector.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A Roman of distinction under whose protection auother, called the client, placed himself.
  • noun In Greek antiquity, an advocate or pleader; a guardian; an official or legal intermediary.
  • noun One who protects, countenances, supports, or encourages a person or a work; an encourager, protector, or favorer: as, a patron of the fine arts.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A master; a host or landlord.
  • noun The master or captain of a galley or other vessel; the officer in command of a ship.
  • noun A cartridge-case, a small cylinder of leather, wood, or metal: same as bandoleer, 3; by extension, a larger case for holding several cartridges.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The festival held on a saint's day.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To be a patron of; to patronize; to favor.
  • adjective Doing the duty of a patron; giving aid or protection; tutelary.
  • adjective (R. C. Ch.) a saint regarded as the peculiar protector of a country, community, church, profession, etc., or of an individual.
  • noun One who protects, supports, or countenances; a defender.
  • noun A master who had freed his slave, but still retained some paternal rights over him.
  • noun A man of distinction under whose protection another person placed himself.
  • noun An advocate or pleader.
  • noun One who encourages or helps a person, a cause, or a work; a furtherer; a promoter.
  • noun (Eccl. Law), engraving One who has gift and disposition of a benefice.
  • noun A guardian saint. -- called also patron saint.
  • noun (Naut.) See Padrone, 2.
  • noun the grangers. See Granger, 2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin patrōnus, from Latin, from pater, patr-, father; see pəter- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English patron, reborrowed from Latin patronus, derived from pater "father".


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