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adjective pa·tient \ˈpā-shənt\

Simple Definition of patient

  • : able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people

  • : done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying

Full Definition of patient

  1. 1 :  bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint

  2. 2 :  manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain

  3. 3 :  not hasty or impetuous

  4. 4 :  steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity

  5. 5 a :  able or willing to bear —used with of b :  susceptible, admitting <patient of one interpretation>

pa·tient·ly adverb

Examples of patient

  1. To pry apart violent Islamic radicals, the United States has to become knowledgeable about internal cleavages and be patient in exploiting them. —Samantha Power, New York Times Book Review, 29 July 2007

  2. I pack them into the compartment for a visit, pack till it's full far beyond capacity and weep with them, share with them my scanty bit of good fortune, tell them I care, tell them be patient, tell them I'm on their side … —John Edgar Wideman, Harper's, December 2003

  3. There's no sense being patient with people who make you wait, because they'll only make you wait longer the next time. —Andrew A. Rooney, And More by Andy Rooney, (1979) 1982

  4. I hate having to stand in long lines. I'm just not very patient.

  5. The teacher treated her students in a patient and understanding way.

  6. Aren't you finished yet? Be patient. I'll be done soon.

  7. Proofreading requires patient attention to detail.

  8. They put in years of patient labor on the project.

Origin of patient

Middle English pacient, from Anglo-French, from Latin patient-, patiens, from present participle of pati to suffer; perhaps akin to Greek pēma suffering

First Known Use: 14th century



noun pa·tient \ˈpā-shənt\

Simple Definition of patient

  • : a person who receives medical care or treatment

Full Definition of patient

  1. 1 a :  an individual awaiting or under medical care and treatment b :  the recipient of any of various personal services

  2. 2 :  one that is acted upon

Examples of patient

  1. Several patients were waiting to see the doctor.

  2. <the nurse asked the patient to change into a paper gown>

Origin of patient

(see 1patient)

First Known Use: 14th century

Medical Dictionary


noun pa·tient \ˈpā-shənt\

Medical Definition of patient

  1. 1:  a sick individual especially when awaiting or under the care and treatment of a physician or surgeon <the hospital is equipped to handle 500 patients>

  2. 2:  a client for medical service (as of a physician or dentist) <a good practice with a large number of patients>

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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