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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Daily life, Business
patronagepat‧ron‧age /ˈpætrənɪdʒ $ ˈpeɪ-, ˈpæ-/ noun [uncountable]  1 BFSUPPORT A PERSON, GROUP, OR PLANthe support, especially financial support, that is given to an organization or activity by a patron2 American English formalDB the support that you give a particular shop, restaurant etc by buying their goods or using their services syn custom British English Thank you for your patronage.3 SUPPORT A PERSON, GROUP, OR PLANa system by which someone in a powerful position gives people help or important jobs in return for their support
Examples from the Corpus
patronageHe was a hustling precinct worker and brought out the vote, so he was rewarded with a patronage job.As before, patronage of the Cambrian Limited was exceptional.His patronage is due to the high recovery rate of hernia sufferers at his tomb.The judges' deliberate promotion of the Second Empire can perhaps be explained from the standpoint of patronage.Another reason behind the opposition to political patronage is the national disdain for politics and politicians.As chief steward, Gloucester had access to significant patronage.More curious is the extreme catholicism of their patronage.This is deadly for a political machine that lives through patronage.
From Longman Business Dictionarypatronagepat‧ron‧age /ˈpætrənɪdʒ/ noun [uncountable]1American EnglishCOMMERCE the support a customer gives a shop, restaurant etc by spending money thereWhat will prevent the customer from shifting his patronage to someone else?2the support given to an organization, CHARITY etc by a patron, especially financial supportWe hope that the new law will encourage private patronage of the arts.3disapproving a system in which someone in authority helps people get important positions, jobs etc in return for their supportThe study found that promotions were based on patronage.
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