The Meaning of Patron: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of patron? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word patron, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What does the word patron mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word patron refers to a special guardian, defender, protector, or supporter. This noun can also refer to a legal protector, benefactor, advocate or regular customer, or someone who provides gifts, financial aid, privileges or ecclesiastical benefice. The word patron can be used in many different contexts to refer to a great patron of the arts, a patron saint, or anyone else who practices patronage. The word patron is two syllables – pa-tron, and the pronunciation of patron is ˈpeɪtrən. One can add the suffixes al or ing to make the related words patronal (adj.) and patronizing (adj.)

The word patron is also used in Christianity and Anglicanism to refer to a person or body that has the right to present a clergyman to a benefice. Someone who is a patron supports, protects, or champions someone or something, usually as a benefactor or sponsor. This word is also used in an inn of France and Spain in a restaurant to refer to the owner or manager of an establishment. Previously in Roman history, this word referred to the special guardian or protector of a dependant or client, who was often the former master of a freedman and still retained certain rights over him as a slave owner, legal possessor or contractor.

Many different languages also contain words that mean patron. You may notice that several of these words look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are formed when two words of different languages have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations of patron is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Romanian: suporter‎ (masc.), partizan‎ (masc. pl.)
  •  Russian: сторо́нник‎ (masc.), сторо́нница‎ (fem.), побо́рник‎ (masc.), побо́рница‎ (fem.), приве́рженец‎ (masc.), приве́рженка‎ (fem.)
  •  Maori: kaitautāwhi‎
  •  Esperanto: subtenanto‎
  •  Sundanese: bobotoh‎
  •  Macedonian: поддржувач‎
  •  Indonesian: pendukung‎
  •  French: partisan‎ (masc.), supporter‎ (masc.), supporteur‎ (masc.), supporteuse‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: anhängare‎ (common)
  •  Finnish: kannattaja‎
  •  Portuguese: apoiador‎ (masc.)
  •  Italian: promotore‎, fautore‎ (masc.), aderente‎ (masc.)
  •  German: Unterstützer‎ (masc.), Anhänger‎ (masc.)
  •  Norman: partisan‎ (masc.)

What is the origin of the word patron?

According to Etymonline, the word patron has been used since the C14 Middle English patroun. This comes from the Old French patron, and the Medieval Latin patrōnus protector, which comes from the Latin patronus, a derivative of pater father and from pā in Indo-European roots.

What are synonyms and antonyms of patron?

There are many words and phrases that would be acceptable to use in place of the word patron. These words and phrases are called synonyms. Learning synonyms is a great way to avoid repeating yourself and also a great way to expand your knowledge of English. This list of synonyms of patron is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  donator
  •  maecenas
  •  investor
  •  client
  •  purchaser
  •  buyer
  •  subscriber
  •  partisan
  •  advocate
  •  contributor
  •  visitor
  •  giver
  •  humanitarian
  •  regular
  •  host
  •  vendee
  •  philanthropist
  •  promoter
  •  benefactress
  •  altruist
  •  supporter
  •  helper
  •  meal ticket
  •  user
  •  subscribers
  •  benefactor
  •  well-wisher
  •  grantor
  •  upholder
  •  booster
  •  encourager
  •  sponsor
  •  employer
  •  patroness
  •  consumer
  •  protector
  •  donor
  •  friend
  •  sympathizer
  •  champion
  •  proponent
  •  backer
  •  admirer
  •  guest
  •  guarantor
  •  frequenter
  •  habitue
  •  customer
  •  shopper
  •  lodger
  •  angel
  •  defender

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word patron. These are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms of patron is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  appointee
  •  agnostic
  •  accomplice
  •  bad egg
  •  backup
  •  alternate
  •  caviller
  •  atheist
  •  doubting thomas
  •  backer
  •  belittler
  •  adversary
  •  carper
  •  antagonist
  •  advisor
  •  opposition
  •  attendant
  •  girl friday
  •  villain
  •  enemy
  •  challenger
  •  employee
  •  butt-boy
  •  swindler
  •  beggar
  •  owner
  •  assailant
  •  addressee
  •  calumniator
  •  acolyte
  •  celebrity
  •  attacker
  •  movie star
  •  dog in the manger
  •  asperser
  •  opponent
  •  captain
  •  assistant
  •  accuser
  •  censurer
  •  arguing
  •  rules-maker
  •  witch
  •  assail
  •  cheater
  •  satan
  •  knocker
  •  detractor
  •  aide
  •  backbiter

How can the word patron be used in a sentence?

The word patron can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge of English definitions. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of patron to get you started.

The wealthy person was a patron of the arts. It made him feel good to be the person who aids artists in achieving their dreams when money is no object.

The customer of a shop downtown wondered why they were so rude and aloof to their patrons. Wouldn’t being nice bring in more business and success?

The patron of the craftsman gave her a hundred dollar bonus for a job well done on her latest piece of work.

The restaurant’s patrons were extremely unhappy with the change in management. They did not like the new menu or the rude attitude of the new staff every since it has been made into a franchise, and no longer a mom and pop shop.

The woman patronized the scholar, giving her the funds she needed to get through school and make her break into the world of politics.

The police patronized their favorite late night coffee shop during a night shift. They were tired, but a fresh cup of coffee and an old fashioned donut were always enough to lift spirits.

Overall, the word patron (ˈpætərn) means or someone who is in the disposition of a benefice, or the proprietor of an inn. This word is French and Latin in origin, and is a noun.


  1. patron: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Patron synonyms – 782 Words and Phrases for Patron | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Patron antonyms – 224 Opposites of Patron  | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Patron definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary