Definition for PAT'RON

PAT'RON, n. [L. patronus; Gr. πατρων, from πατηρ, father.]

  1. Among the Romans, a master who had freed his slave, and retained some rights over him after his emancipation; also a man of distinction under whose protection another placed himself. Hence,
  2. One who countenances, supports and protects either a person or a work. – Prior.
  3. In the church of Rome, a guardian or saint, whose name person bears, or under whose special care he is placed and whom he invokes; or a saint in whose name a church or order is founded. – Encyc.
  4. In the canon or common law, one who has the gift and disposition of a benefice. – Encyc.
  5. An advocate; a defender; one that specially countenances and supports, or lends aid to advance; as, patrons of the arts; a patron of useful undertakings; the patrons of virtue. Locke.
  6. In seamen's language, the commander of a small vessel passage-boat; also, one who steers a ship's long-boat.

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