PA'TRON. n.s. [patron, Fr. Patronus, Latin.]
1. One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with indolence, and is paid with flattery.
I'll plead for you, as for my patron. Shakesp.
Ne'er let me pass in silence Dorset's name;
Ne'er cease to mention the continu'd debt,
Which the great patron only would forget. Prior.
This page gives a few other colorful definitions from Johnson's dictionary.