im·​pa·​tiens im-ˈpā-shənz How to pronounce impatiens (audio)
: any of a widely distributed genus (Impatiens of the family Balsaminaceae) of annual or perennial herbs with irregular spurred or saccate flowers and forcefully dehiscent capsules compare touch-me-not

Examples of impatiens in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Including a cactus whose shape resembles a brain and a variety of impatiens that look like dancing girls. Allison Futterman, Discover Magazine, 11 May 2022 The impatiens necrotic spot virus and the disease Pythium wilt have both been around for years. Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2022 Pair it with impatiens in a shady spot, but take note: Keep caladium away from pets, especially those who like to chew on plants. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 1 Aug. 2022 So far, the main damage is to hostas, 1 tropical hibiscus and some impatiens. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 25 July 2022 Shade-loving annual impatiens, for example, won't last long beside perennial sun-lovers like coneflowers. Lynn Coulter, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 June 2022 A few hundred dollars worth of impatiens and knockout roses, gone. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 23 June 2022 With cheery shades ranging from peach to hot pink, New Guinea impatiens are a reliable choice for long-season color. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 26 May 2022 A few months and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, the lot is in bloom, a multicolor sea of petunias, impatiens and hostas, to name a few. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, 18 May 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impatiens.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, impatient

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impatiens was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near impatiens

Cite this Entry

“Impatiens.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​pa·​tiens im-ˈpā-shənz How to pronounce impatiens (audio)
: any of a large genus of herbs that produce often brightly colored flowers

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