pa·tience | \ ˈpā-shən(t)s \

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


forbearance, long-suffering, sufferance, tolerance



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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

Brother Reilly, with a show of patience, explained that in the Jesuit order all novices were called Brother. John L’heureux, The New Yorker, "The Long Black Line," 14 May 2018 The patience of the people will be a major factor in Pashinyan’s success. Matthew Bodner, The New Republic, "Armenia Is Breaking the Post-Soviet Mold," 4 May 2018 Manager Buck Showalter has preached patience, telling Schoop not to get caught up in his numbers. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Orioles' Jonathan Schoop searches for form at the plate that made him an All-Star a year ago," 7 July 2018 Followers of Islam believe fasting teaches patience, modesty, and spirituality. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "A Mecklenburg inmate signed up for Ramadan fast. Now he's suing because he got hungry.," 5 July 2018 The divisions have tested the patience of European Union leaders, who say the risk of Britain crashing out of the bloc without a deal -- the scenario most feared by businesses -- is rising. Andrew Atkinson,, "Pressure Grows on May Before Key Brexit Gathering," 1 July 2018 The season’s first two months have shown that managing Ohtani’s workload is plenty possible, with a little thought and some patience, even in the face of injuries and other extenuating circumstances. Alex Putterman, The Atlantic, "Shohei Ohtani Is Proving Himself Already," 5 June 2018 Going natural takes practice, patience, determination, and care. Ni'kesia Pannell, SELF, "It Took Me 3 Tries to Go Natural—These 11 Products Helped Me Do It," 18 May 2018 Successful gold-finding has always been a combination of patience, instinct, persistence, resourcefulness, and a tolerance for risk. Genesee Keevil, Popular Mechanics, "The Rush: What the World's Greatest Gold Prospector Knows," 17 May 2018

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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Learn More about patience

Dictionary Entries near patience





patience plant



Statistics for patience

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for patience

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

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More Definitions for patience


pa·tience | \ ˈpā-shəns \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on patience

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for patience

Spanish Central: Translation of patience

Nglish: Translation of patience for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of patience for Arabic Speakers

Comments on patience

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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