patronize Definition

  • 1treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority
  • 2support financially
  • 3be a customer of

Using patronize: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "patronize" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I hate it when waiters patronize me.

  • Example

    He patronized her by speaking slowly and using simple words.

  • Example

    The wealthy family agreed to patronize the arts center.

  • Example

    I always patronize local businesses when possible.

patronize Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for patronize

Antonyms for patronize

Idioms Using patronize

  • to act badly towards someone who has helped you or been kind to you


    After all the help he gave her, she really bit the hand that fed her by spreading rumors about him.

  • to ignore or treat someone in an unfriendly way


    After their argument, she gave him the cold shoulder for weeks.

  • to behave in a way that shows you think you are better than other people


    She always puts on airs when she's around people she thinks are beneath her.

Phrases with patronize

  • a smile that shows someone is being condescending or treating someone else as inferior


    She gave me a patronizing smile when I asked her a question.

  • a way of speaking that shows someone is being condescending or treating someone else as inferior


    I don't appreciate your patronizing tone.

  • a saint who is considered to be a special guardian or protector of a particular place, group of people, activity, or object


    St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals.

Origins of patronize

from Old French 'patron', meaning 'protector'


Summary: patronize in Brief

The verb 'patronize' [ˈpeɪtrənaɪz] can mean to treat someone with apparent kindness that actually conveys a sense of superiority, as in 'He patronized her by speaking slowly.' It can also mean to support financially, as in 'The wealthy family agreed to patronize the arts center,' or to be a customer of, as in 'I always patronize local businesses.' The phrase 'patronizing smile' describes a condescending facial expression, while 'patron saint' refers to a saint who is a special guardian or protector. Idioms include 'bite the hand that feeds you,' 'give someone the cold shoulder,' and 'put on airs.'