Definition of padrone in US English:


nounPlural padrones

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

    • ‘The padrone supervised the gang's work and provided housing and meals, charging a fee against wages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In this way the padrone provided American companies with large numbers of employees for which they were paid handsomely.’
    • ‘One day I got work at the fruit market through the padrone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The padrone was an ethnic intermediary and labour agent with the resources necessary to conduct the trade.’
    • ‘Not long ago people like Renato and Theresa worked for a padrone as serfs, for no pay.’
    • ‘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.’
    head, principal, chief executive, executive, president, chair, chairman, chairwoman, chairperson, governor, director, administrator, manager, manageress, superintendent, foreman, forewoman, controller, overseer
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    1. 1.1 A Mafia boss.
      boss, manager, manageress, foreman, forewoman, overseer, controller, supervisor, superintendent
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  • 2(in Italy) the proprietor of a hotel.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can enjoy a perfect Tuscan kitchen and the hospitality of the Padrone and his team in the heart of Vienna.’
    • ‘The situation changed dramatically in July at the ceremony to formally turn over Palazzo Grassi to its new padrone.’


Italian, ‘patron, master’.