Definition of patient in English:



  • Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious:

    ‘be patient, your time will come’
    ‘a patient and painstaking approach’
    • ‘If you are slow and patient it is possible to get quite near to them, and this was certainly the closest either of us had been to a shark in a long time.’
    • ‘The Foss Basin is always a safe bet at this time of year and pike anglers have been reaping the rewards of a patient approach.’
    • ‘This time, they are taking a more patient approach.’
    • ‘He wasn't the most calm and patient person in the world when it came to matters of the heart.’
    • ‘He plays a patient game from the back of the court and the approach edges him close to claiming the first set.’
    • ‘His relaxed, patient attitude does not always sit well with people in a hurry.’
    • ‘It's become hard to imagine anyone else pulling off such stubborn, patient beauty.’
    • ‘The people of Gloucester must have been affected by the patient suffering of their pastor.’
    • ‘For some less patient diners this can actually be a blessing as it cuts down the time spent perusing the options.’
    • ‘He likes challenge and experimentation, but he is also a patient professional.’
    • ‘You never have been able to handle the fact that I'm more patient than you.’
    • ‘The glossy surface, apparently built up from a patient succession of thin glazes, is exactly in her manner.’
    • ‘It was awesome working with him, he is a very cool and patient dude.’
    • ‘In any case, the learning situation must be an active one, and thus a patient one.’
    • ‘Jackie is noted for his very patient style and believes in encouraging students every step of the way.’
    persevering, persistent, tenacious, diligent, assiduous, indefatigable, dogged, determined, resolved, resolute, obstinate, insistent, single-minded, purposeful, pertinacious
    forbearing, uncomplaining, tolerant, long-suffering, resigned, stoical
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  • 1A person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment:

    ‘many patients in the hospital were more ill than she was’
    • ‘Some patients who respond well initially develop tolerance to the injections.’
    • ‘Patients in the intervention group completed a questionnaire immediately after viewing the programme.’
    • ‘Just like any doctor, we take a patient's medical details and allergies before a consultation.’
    • ‘Not all beta blockers are equally tolerated by patients with chronic heart failure.’
    • ‘Hospital chiefs insist no patient suffered worse treatment because of the scandal.’
    • ‘A search of records indicated that the remaining 29 patients were still alive one year after discharge.’
    • ‘We enrolled 272 consecutive patients who were referred to the participating investigators for preoperative consultation.’
    • ‘An AIDS patient receives antiretroviral drugs in a Kenyan hospital.’
    • ‘Only one patient with severe persistent asthma was not receiving an asthma controller medication.’
    • ‘Everything pertaining to the patient's medical care should be clearly documented.’
    • ‘What are your observations regarding the few AIDS patients undergoing treatment in Burundi?’
    • ‘An acute shortage of human organs means that many patients die waiting for transplants, however.’
    • ‘The test also has limited usefulness for patients with diabetes and end-stage renal disease.’
    • ‘This could also open the way for hospitals to start charging patients for treatment.’
    • ‘Critically ill, morbidly obese patients present serious challenges to physicians treating them.’
    • ‘Four days later, this immunosuppressed patient developed a sore swollen tongue.’
    • ‘The goal was to recruit 400 depressed patients hospitalized for heart attack or angina.’
    • ‘Today's surgical patient often is discharged with wounds that require nursing care at home.’
    • ‘They were able to define three clinical characteristics that put hospitalized heart failure patients at greatest risk of mortality.’
    • ‘It could see patients being banned from treatment for up to a year in severe cases.’
    sick person, case, sufferer, victim
    invalid, convalescent, outpatient, day patient, inpatient, hospital patient
    the sick, the infirm
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  • 2Linguistics
    The semantic role of a noun phrase denoting something that is affected or acted upon by the action of a verb.


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