- the financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests.
- patrons collectively; clientele.
- the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.
- offices, jobs, or other favors so controlled.
- the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one’s party or political campaign.
- a condescending manner or attitude in granting favors, in dealing with people, etc.; condescension: an air of patronage toward his business subordinates.
- the position, encouragement, influence, or support of a patron, as toward an artist, institution, etc.
- the right of presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice; advowson.
- the support given or custom brought by a patron or patroness
- the position of a patron
- (in politics)
- the practice of making appointments to office, granting contracts, etc
- the favours so distributed
- a condescending manner
- any kindness done in a condescending way
- Christianity the right to present a clergyman to a benefice
n.late 14c., “right of presenting a qualified person to a church benefice,” from Old French patronage (14c.) from patron (see patron). Secular sense of “action of giving influential support” is from 1550s. General sense of “power to give jobs or favors” is from 1769; meaning “regular business of customers” is 1804. The power of a government official or leader to make appointments and offer favors. Once in office, a politician can use patronage to build a loyal following. Though practiced at all levels of government, patronage is most often associated with the machine politics of big cities. (See spoils system.)