From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( n.) Guardianship, as of a saint; tutelary care.

(2): ( v. t.) To act as a patron of; to maintain; to defend.

(3): ( n.) Special countenance or support; favor, encouragement, or aid, afforded to a person or a work; as, the patronage of letters; patronage given to an author.

(4): ( n.) The right of nomination to political office; also, the offices, contracts, honors, etc., which a public officer may bestow by favor.

(5): ( n.) Business custom.

(6): ( n.) The right of presentation to church or ecclesiastical benefice; advowson.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [2]

Or ADVOWSON, a sort of incorporeal hereditament, consisting in the right of presentation to a church, or ecclesiastical benefice. Advowson signifies the taking into protection, and therefore is synonymous with patronage; and he who has the right of advowson is called the patron of the church.