1. One that supports, protects, or champions someone or something, such as an institution, event, or cause; a sponsor or benefactor: a patron of the arts.
2. A customer, especially a regular customer.
3. (also pä-trōn) The owner or manager of an establishment, especially a restaurant or an inn of France or Spain.
a. A noble or wealthy person in ancient Rome who granted favor and protection to someone in exchange for certain services.
b. A slave owner in ancient Rome who freed a slave without relinquishing all legal claim to him.
5. One who possesses the right to grant an ecclesiastical benefice to a member of the clergy.
6. A patron saint.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin patrōnus, from Latin, from pater, patr-, father; see pəter- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
patron·al (pātrə-nəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.