patronage

If you give a store or business your support (financial or otherwise) as a customer or client, you are giving them your patronage. Great philanthropists are often known for their patronage, or financial support, of the arts.

In the days of classical art, composers like Bach or painters like Michelangelo were supported by patrons, whose patronage, or financial support paid the artists' ways. Patronage is still an important part of our world, but you have to be careful: If your senator is accused of political patronage, people are accusing that senator of exchanging jobs or other favors in return for political support. This is not a good thing.

Definitions of patronage
  1. noun
    the business given to a commercial establishment by its customers
    “even before noon there was a considerable patronage
    synonyms: trade
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    types:
    custom
    habitual patronage
    type of:
    business
    the volume of commercial activity
  2. noun
    customers collectively
    synonyms: business, clientele
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    type of:
    people
    (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively
  3. verb
    be a regular customer or client of
    synonyms: keep going, patronise, patronize, support
    keep going, run on
    continue uninterrupted
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    type of:
    foster, nurture
    help develop, help grow
  4. noun
    the act of providing approval and support
    synonyms: backing, backup, championship
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    type of:
    approval, approving, blessing
    the formal act of approving
  5. noun
    (politics) granting favors or giving contracts or making appointments to office in return for political support
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    types:
    nomenklatura
    the system of patronage in communist countries; controlled by committees in the Communist Party
    type of:
    social control
    control exerted (actively or passively) by group action
  6. verb
    support by being a patron of
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    type of:
    keep, maintain, sustain
    supply with necessities and support
  7. noun
    a communication that indicates lack of respect by patronizing the recipient
    synonyms: condescension, disdain
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    type of:
    depreciation, derogation, disparagement
    a communication that belittles somebody or something
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