Pronunciation: (pā'tru-nij, pa'-), [key]
1. the financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests.
2. patrons collectively; clientele.
3. the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.
4. offices, jobs, or other favors so controlled.
5. the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one's party or political campaign.
6. a condescending manner or attitude in granting favors, in dealing with people, etc.; condescension: an air of patronage toward his business subordinates.
7. the position, encouragement, influence, or support of a patron, as toward an artist, institution, etc.
8. the right of presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice; advowson.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.