Definition of padrone in English:



  • 1US informal An employer, especially one who exploits immigrant workers.

    • ‘Here they re-created their cultural patterns and social networks, including banks established by padrones (labor contractors), mutual-aid societies providing sickness and death benefits, and the festa of the town's patron saint.’
    • ‘Not long ago people like Renato and Theresa worked for a padrone as serfs, for no pay.’
    • ‘The padrone was an ethnic intermediary and labour agent with the resources necessary to conduct the trade.’
    • ‘In this way the padrone provided American companies with large numbers of employees for which they were paid handsomely.’
    • ‘Each time another shipment of men arrives, one of his employees appears on the second-floor balcony, like a Mexican padrone, to welcome them in Spanish - and to warn them not to talk with farmworker advocates.’
    • ‘These Greeks often were subject to the padrone system, a form of exploitative indentured servitude employed in many of the larger industrial cities of the North and in the large mining corporations of the West.’
    • ‘One day I got work at the fruit market through the padrone.’
    • ‘He works the national borders between southern Europe and the three North American states, and the class and racial boundaries between resident populations, the immigrant workers, and the padrones.’
    • ‘There is no question that in many instances padrones were able to exploit the relative ignorance of immigrant workers to capture a large share of the gains from mobilizing labor.’
    • ‘Peck's padrones emerge as ‘entrepreneurs of space,’ providing critical links and a variety of functions in the volatile transnational labor markets that spread out across the North American continent.’
    • ‘The padrone supervised the gang's work and provided housing and meals, charging a fee against wages.’
    head, principal, chief executive, executive, president, chair, chairman, chairwoman, chairperson, governor, director, administrator, manager, manageress, superintendent, foreman, forewoman, controller, overseer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A Mafia boss.
      boss, manager, manageress, foreman, forewoman, overseer, controller, supervisor, superintendent
      View synonyms
  • 2(in Italy) the proprietor of a hotel.

    • ‘And so one night, having indulged a little too freely in a local wine called ‘The Tears of Christ,’ I confessed to the hotel padrone a furtive secret.’
    • ‘Our favourite restaurant there was Archimede, whose vigilant padrone and busy staff put on a bustling show like something out of the commedia dell'arte.’
    • ‘The situation changed dramatically in July at the ceremony to formally turn over Palazzo Grassi to its new padrone.’
    • ‘You can enjoy a perfect Tuscan kitchen and the hospitality of the Padrone and his team in the heart of Vienna.’
    • ‘The Philadelphia is attached to the Parmigiana restaurant and I have witnessed more than one gourmet in this fine establishment ask Sandro, il padrone, if they can go off the menu and have a fish supper sent though from the Phillie.’
    • ‘One of these is Giuliano Binanti, the padrone of the Giuliano group of restaurants in Edinburgh, who each autumn acts as my mushroom mentor.’


Italian, ‘patron, master’.