im·​pa·​tience | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpā-shən(t)s How to pronounce impatience (audio) \

Definition of impatience

: the quality or state of being impatient

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Examples of impatience in a Sentence

the child's impatience for Christmas morning is engaging

Recent Examples on the Web

My profound impatience about small matters of everyday living is both a curse and an embarrassment. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, "Gene Weingarten: How to deal with profound impatience? Try the Glass Bowl method.," 20 June 2019 Why is impatience signalled by the tapping of a toe, a gesture that telegraphs walking away? Paul Salopek, The New Yorker, "A Twenty-Four-Thousand-Mile Walk Across Human History," 17 June 2019 That wasn’t impatience that often dooms chances at a U.S. Open. Doug Ferguson, The Denver Post, "Rickie Fowler and the USGA off to a good start at U.S. Open," 13 June 2019 An old woman in a head wrap sat in serene impatience on a crate in the shade of a Honda Civic, eating fried sweet potato and hot sauce out of a foam carryout container. Rowan Moore Gerety, Harper's magazine, "Downstream," 10 June 2019 Danny Scheie and, especially, Bhama Roget, sow impatience in their farcical routines. Tom Titus,, "On Theater: A shrewd ‘Shrew!’ rewrites Shakespeare; rustic charm at the 'Spitfire Grill'," 5 Apr. 2018 Renewed jitters over slowing global growth and investors’ impatience on a U.S.-China trade pact sent U.S. stocks to their worst day in nearly a month, the latest hiccup during a big rally fueled by the Federal Reserve this year. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Stocks Close Lower as Investors Pause on Trade Developments," 4 Mar. 2019 According to an exposé in the New York Times, this campaign: stretched the image of classic ADHD to include relatively normal behavior like carelessness and impatience, and has often overstated the pills’ benefits. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Kids who start kindergarten young are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD," 17 Dec. 2018 Even as some Western representatives expressed impatience, the Russians repeatedly challenged the organization’s interpretation of its own rules. New York Times, "In a Chemical Weapons Debate, Russia Tries to Change the Subject," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impatience.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of impatience

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for impatience

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for impatience

The first known use of impatience was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for impatience


im·​pa·​tience | \ im-ˈpā-shəns How to pronounce impatience (audio) \

Kids Definition of impatience

1 : the quality of not wanting to put up with or wait for something or someone : lack of patience Her impatience with the delay was obvious.
2 : restless or eager desire The dog pulled at the leash with an impatience to go faster.

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Comments on impatience

What made you want to look up impatience? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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