Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Patron \Pa"tron\, n. [F., fr. L. patronus, fr. pater a father. See Paternal, and cf. Patroon, Padrone, Pattern.]
One who protects, supports, or countenances; a defender. ``Patron of my life and liberty.''
--Shak. ``The patron of true holiness.''
A master who had freed his slave, but still retained some paternal rights over him.
A man of distinction under whose protection another person placed himself.
An advocate or pleader.
Let him who works the client wrong Beware the patron's ire.
One who encourages or helps a person, a cause, or a work; a furtherer; a promoter; as, a patron of art.
(Eccl. Law) One who has gift and disposition of a benefice. [Eng.]
A guardian saint. -- called also patron saint.
(Naut.) See Padrone, 2.
Patrons of Husbandry, the grangers. See Granger, 2.
n. A saint from whom a specific group claims special protection or prayers.
n. a saint who is considered to be a defender of some group or nation
A patron saint, patron hallow or Heavenly Protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person. Catholics believe that patron saints, having already transcended to the metaphysical, are able to intercede effectively for the needs of their special charges.
Patron Saint (foaled 1923) was a British racehorse who won the 1928 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Usage examples of "patron saint".
He confirmed also our right to this three-day fair on the feast of our patron Saint Peter, at the same fee we have paid before, and on the same conditions.
Alone again, Zerchi inserted the wall plug, sat at his desk, and, after muttering a brief prayer to Saint Leibowitz (who in recent centuries had come into wider popularity as the patron saint of electricians than he had ever won as the founder of the Albertian Order of Saint Leibowitz), flipped the switch.
Each Guild had built its own cloud, high up in which sat its patron saint on a wooden frame thickly covered by wool, surrounded by lights and cherubs and sprinkled with tinsel stars.
When Pope Paul excommunicated Saint Christopher - who happens to be the Patron Saint of Surfers - for what seems to us like the rather negligable fault of never existing, the Discordian Society adopted him, along with Saint Patrick (discharged for the same reason at the same time).
Patriotic religiosity was putting Sainte Genevieve at the head of the favored ones, so from all these fiestas, Dona Luisa, tremulous with faith, would return in expectation of a miracle similar to that which the patron saint of Paris had worked before the invading hordes of Attila.