Definition of patience in English:



mass noun
  • 1The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

    ‘you can find bargains if you have the patience to sift through the rubbish’
    ‘I have run out of patience with her’
    • ‘Sometimes this fact requires great patience on the part of people.’
    • ‘Our local general practitioners have shown great patience and understanding when treating my son for minor ailments.’
    • ‘But his patience paid off, in the end, as it always did.’
    • ‘In my experience foreigners have no patience with this sort of thinking.’
    • ‘Each novel rewards the reader's patience, but in unexpected ways.’
    • ‘Without their knowledge - and infinite patience - this story would not have happened.’
    • ‘Eventually her patience paid off, and she was hired on as a professor.’
    • ‘They are a point back and had to exercise extreme patience against their visitors.’
    • ‘For the remaining failures, I can only ask a reader's patience and forgiveness.’
    • ‘He demonstrated extraordinary patience as he posed for photographs and autographed all sorts of items.’
    • ‘His tribulations at a sport at which he previously naturally excelled would have tried the patience of a saint.’
    • ‘He is a decent hitter, has great patience at the plate and is defensively solid.’
    • ‘He has good patience at the plate for someone so inexperienced.’
    • ‘I was beginning to lose the little patience that I had left.’
    • ‘"Just spit it out, " I commanded, feeling my patience grow thin.’
    • ‘My fingers played with my pulled up brown hair as my patience wore thin.’
    • ‘Do you really want to put your patience to the limit?’
    • ‘His first season here, though, would have tested the patience of a saint.’
    • ‘I made a third phone call a few days later, but their patience with me was obviously running out.’
    • ‘Sometimes, to make a point, you have to stretch their patience to the limit.’
    forbearance, tolerance, restraint, self-restraint, resignation, stoicism, fortitude, sufferance, endurance
    perseverance, persistence, endurance, tenacity, diligence, assiduity, application, staying power, indefatigability, doggedness, determination, resolve, resolution, resoluteness, obstinacy, insistence, singleness of purpose, purposefulness, pertinacity
    View synonyms
  • 2British Any of various forms of card game for one player, the object of which is to use up all one's cards by forming particular arrangements and sequences.

    Also called solitaire
    • ‘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 Laurence finally lost patience with him’
      • ‘Unfortunately, it seems the courts are losing their patience.’
      • ‘I was imperturbable at work, never losing my patience or raising my voice.’
      • ‘Or have you simply lost your patience and want to move to a liquid-crystal display monitor right away?’
      • ‘Gareth was slowly losing his patience and temper as he tried to get them to block each other's blows.’
      • ‘Just keep a cool head and don't lose your patience or your temper.’
      • ‘The meeting was delayed for about 30 minutes, until some alumni lost their patience.’
      • ‘I really am losing my patience with the whole thing.’
      • ‘Rhea was close to losing her patience and her temper.’
      • ‘We were attacked many times, but never lost our patience or belief in the peace process.’
      • ‘Okay, so you lost your patience, had him and lost him.’


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