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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce patronize (audio)

Dictionary definition of patronize

To treat someone in a condescending or belittling manner, often displaying a sense of superiority or arrogance.
"The professor would patronize students who asked seemingly simple questions."

Detailed meaning of patronize

When you patronize someone, you talk down to them, underestimate their capabilities, or behave as if they are less knowledgeable or competent than you. This can be done intentionally or unintentionally and is usually considered disrespectful or offensive. It's important to note that "patronize" can also refer to the act of financially supporting or being a regular customer of a business or service. However, in the context of treating others, it conveys a sense of demeaning behavior. For instance, if someone explains a simple concept to another person as if they were a child, they are patronizing that person. "Patronize" underscores the idea of treating someone with unwarranted condescension or superiority, often leading to feelings of resentment or insult.

Example sentences containing patronize

1. He couldn't stand the way his boss would patronize him during meetings.
2. The waiter's snobbish attitude made me feel like he was trying to patronize me.
3. Don't patronize me with your fake compliments; I know you don't mean them.
4. He would often patronize his younger brother, underestimating his abilities.
5. My parents tend to patronize me whenever I try to make independent decisions.
6. It's frustrating when people patronize you just because you're new to the job.

History and etymology of patronize

The verb 'patronize' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'patronus,' which referred to a protector or a supporter. In ancient Rome, a patronus was someone of higher social or economic status who provided support and assistance to a client. Over time, 'patronize' made its way into English with a shift in meaning. It came to describe the act of treating someone in a condescending or belittling manner, often displaying a sense of superiority or arrogance. This transformation in meaning reflects how the concept of providing support or protection evolved into a more negative connotation, where one person is perceived as looking down upon another, akin to the attitude of a patron toward a client in a condescending way.

Quiz: Find the meaning of patronize

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Further usage examples of patronize

1. She has a habit of patronizing her friends when they make mistakes.
2. The CEO's condescending tone was a clear attempt to patronize the employees.
3. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she faced constant patronizing remarks.
4. He tried to patronize the young entrepreneur, assuming he didn't understand the market.
5. It's not appropriate to patronize someone just because they have different opinions.
6. Instead of offering help, he chose to patronize her in front of the entire team.
7. Many customers feel offended when salespeople patronize them based on their appearance.
8. He used to patronize the local coffee shop, but after a rude encounter, he stopped going.
9. The politician's attempt to relate to the common people only came across as patronizing.
10. The wealthy heiress would often patronize the less fortunate, looking down on them.
11. When she shared her ambitions, her friends would often patronize her dreams.
12. The customer complained about the store clerk's patronizing behavior towards her.
13. They tried to offer advice in a helpful manner, but it came across as patronizing.
14. She couldn't help but patronize her colleagues with her know-it-all attitude.
15. He would often patronize his subordinates, making them feel insignificant.
16. Their attempt to patronize him only fueled his determination.
17. It's offensive to patronize others based on their background.
18. Don't patronize me; I can handle this task just fine.
19. She would frequently patronize those she deemed less knowledgeable.
20. He tried to patronize her, but she stood her ground.
21. It's essential to treat everyone equally and not patronize anyone.
22. He didn't appreciate their attempts to patronize his ideas.
23. She used her position to patronize those beneath her.
24. We should never patronize someone for asking questions and seeking knowledge.



condescend, respect, honor, admire


Vexation and Aggravation, Discipline and Self-Control, Disdain and Contempt, Rudeness and Unrefined

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