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

Definition of patience

1 : the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient
2 chiefly British : solitaire sense 2

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Synonyms & Antonyms for patience



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Examples of patience in a Sentence

To be a biographer is a somewhat peculiar endeavor. It seems to me it requires not only the tact, patience, and thoroughness of a scholar but also the stamina of a horse. — Nancy Milford, Vanity Fair, August 2001 … in this time of bioethical conundrums, it is good to know that patience, good will, and personal morality will untie far more intellectual knots than the disarray of rancor, conflict, and special interests … — Sherwin B. Nuland, New Republic, 13 Dec. 1999 Mind-numbing delays and irrelevant search results are enough to try the patience of the most saintly Web surfers. — Neil Gross et al., Business Week, 14 June 1999 After a while, their ideological certitudes tried the patience of their own peoples … — Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., New Yorker, 16 Nov. 1992 I don't have the patience to wait in line for hours just to buy a ticket. Investors need to have patience. The economy will improve soon. She treated her students with great patience and humor. I don't have the patience to do crossword puzzles.
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Recent Examples on the Web For their patience, they have been rewarded with lip service and indifference. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Democrats’ Stark, Historic Choice," 11 Jan. 2021 Still, his patience paid off, landing previously unseen police footage from Turkey’s investigation into the killing and interviews with a presidential advisor, a chief prosecutor and a police examiner who had not otherwise spoken out. Stuart Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Filmmaker tracks the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in ‘The Dissident’," 4 Jan. 2021 When working on a digital device, your screen is your workspace, but trying to get everything done within the confines of a laptop screen can put a strain on your eyes, your neck, and your patience. Allen Foster,, "HP 23er review: Can this affordable monitor help with productivity?," 22 Dec. 2020 In fact, the pacing and duration of his sequences, their patience — unusual by the standards of most film and television today, of course, but even of 50 years ago — tends to mess with a viewer’s sense of time. New York Times, "What if the Great American Novelist Doesn’t Write Novels?," 15 Dec. 2020 Pandemic baking has been one of this year’s great joys (though sourdough really put our patience to the test). Naveen Kumar, CNN Underscored, "The most useful subscriptions to gift this year," 7 Dec. 2020 To say that their patience was tested would be an understatement. Washington Post, "What consumers learned about travel complaints in 2020," 2 Dec. 2020 To create an observational achievement of this caliber requires patience. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "How to With John Wilson," 18 Nov. 2020 Things take a remarkable turn toward the end, but getting there requires patience with the film’s insistent style, and with slow-burn, deadpan sequences that qualify as absurd but aren’t all that lively. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Kajillionaire’ Review: Lowbrow Larceny," 24 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patience.' 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 patience

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for patience

see patient entry 1

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Time Traveler for patience

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for patience

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Patience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for patience


How to pronounce patience (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of patience

: the ability to wait for a long time without becoming annoyed or upset
: the ability to remain calm and not become annoyed when dealing with problems or with difficult people
: the ability to give attention to something for a long time without becoming bored or losing interest


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

Kids Definition of patience

: the ability to remain calm when dealing with a difficult or annoying situation, task, or person A person will need patience to do this work.

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