Definition of patience in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpāSHəns/


1The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset: you can find bargains if you have the patience to sift through the dross
More example sentences
  • In my experience foreigners have no patience with this sort of thinking.
  • I made a third phone call a few days later, but their patience with me was obviously running out.
  • He is a decent hitter, has great patience at the plate and is defensively solid.
forbearance, tolerance, restraint, self-restraint, stoicism;
calmness, composure, equanimity, imperturbability, phlegm, understanding, indulgence
perseverance, persistence, endurance, tenacity, assiduity, application, staying power, doggedness, determination, resolve, resolution, resoluteness
2 chiefly British term for solitaire (sense 1).
Example sentences
  • One sister has already nabbed the food and cards, and is sitting playing patience.


lose patience (or lose one's patience)

Become unable to keep one’s temper: even Lawrence finally lost patience with him
More example sentences
  • Gareth was slowly losing his patience and temper as he tried to get them to block each other's blows.
  • Rhea was close to losing her patience and her temper.
  • Just keep a cool head and don't lose your patience or your temper.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin patientia, from patient- 'suffering', from the verb pati.

  • Hospital patients have to have patience, and they sometimes suffer, so it is not surprising that the Latin word pati ‘to suffer’ is the root of both patience and patient (Middle English). People have maintained that patience is a virtue since the 14th century, though a Latin equivalent is recorded much earlier. As a card game patience dates from the early 19th century—the earlier name, still used in the USA, is solitaire ( see sole).

Words that rhyme with patience


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pa·tience

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