Patronizing – what does it mean? Definition, synonyms, examples in sentences
Patronizing – what does it mean? How to use this adjective in a sentence? What is the etymology and synonyms of this word? If you want to make sure you use this word correctly, read this article.
Patronizing – definition
Patronizing is an adjective that means behaving or speaking towards somebody as if they were not important or stupid. Patronizing people speak or behave towards you in a way that seems friendly, but which demonstrates that they think they are superior to you.
Patronizing – synonyms
Here are some synonyms of the word patronizing that will be helpful in remembering its meaning:
Patronizing – etymology
Patronizing comes from the verb to patronize, which dates back to the 1580s and meant “to act as a patron towards, favour, assist”. This was formed from patron + ize or from Old French word patroniser. The meaning “to treat in a condescending way” was affirmed by the year 1797 and was probably developed from the idea of a wealthy and powerful patrons who adopt a superior attitude towards their dependents. Nowadays, somebody whose behaviour is patronizing more often expresses a sense of moral or intellectual than of social superiority.
The following section presents some examples of the word patronizing in use.
Patronizing – examples from the literature and press
Some know a great deal about cars and will be offended by a salesman who adopts a patronizing tone.
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink
“I’m not sure,” she said, giving me a perfunctory, patronizing smile, “that you’re Princeton material.”
Michelle Obama, Becoming
That’s a nice message, but a bit patronizing to the people of Bali, who seem to exist in “Ticket to Paradise” mainly as foils for rich Americans.
“Washington Post”, Oct 19, 2022
He gave me a kind but patronizing look.
James Patterson, Confessions of a Murder Suspect
This last one is not to be confused with its patronizing cousin, Clever.
Michael Hiltzik, Big Science