Definition: Patron saint

From New World Encyclopedia


Patron from Middle English patroun, patrone, from Old French patron, from Latin patrōnus, derived from pater (“father”). Saint from Middle English saint, seint, sainct, seinct, sanct, senct, partly from Old English sanct (“saint”) and confluence with Old French saint, seinte (Modern French saint); both from Latin sanctus (“holy, consecrated”, in Late Latin as a noun, “a saint”), past participle of sancire (“to render sacred, make holy”), akin to sacer (“holy, sacred”).


patron saint (plural patron saints)

  1. (Christianity) A saint conceived as the patron (protector or supporter) of a particular place, group, person, or activity, for whom or for which his or her intercession is specially invoked.
    Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers.
  2. (figuratively) An exemplar: an individual who exemplifies some trait or group.
    Janet is the patron saint of procrastination.


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