pa·​tience ˈpā-shən(t)s How to pronounce patience (audio)
: the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient
chiefly British : solitaire sense 2

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web You can get caught up and lose your sense of patience at times. Alex Ross, Peoplemag, 16 May 2023 Boston has the patience to support a biotech company that may need a decade or more to perfect a way to attack a disease or create a new kind of vaccine. Scott Kirsner,, 14 May 2023 Related Not unlike renovating a home, the Conroe, Texas native knows well that the process of building something sturdy and sustainable takes time, patience and tenacity. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 12 May 2023 The collective patience of Philadelphians seems to be wearing thin. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, 7 May 2023 But the most impressive thing about Jury Duty is its casting of Ronald, a guy who has an almost preternatural level of patience and faith in humanity. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 2 May 2023 When asked what the Bengals like most about Brown, Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said his producitvity, vision, patience, speed and character stand out above all. The Enquirer, 29 Apr. 2023 Learning any new skill takes hard work and patience. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2023 He was previously featured on This American Life for his patience and transparency working with election skeptics and was known for giving tours, offering in-person meetings and tracking conspiracy theories online to anticipate questions. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, 18 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see patient entry 1

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near patience

Cite this Entry

“Patience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


pa·​tience ˈpā-shən(t)s How to pronounce patience (audio)
: the quality or state of being patient

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