pa·​tient | \ ˈpā-shənt How to pronounce patient (audio) \

Definition of patient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
3 : not hasty or impetuous
4 : steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
5a : able or willing to bear used with of
b : susceptible, admitting patient of one interpretation


pa·​tient | \ ˈpā-shənt How to pronounce patient (audio) \

Definition of patient (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an individual awaiting or under medical care and treatment cancer patients psychiatric patients
b : the recipient of any of various personal services
2 : one that is acted upon are agents as well as patients and observers in the world— C. H. Whiteley

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Synonyms & Antonyms for patient

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of patient in a Sentence

Adjective To pry apart violent Islamic radicals, the United States has to become knowledgeable about internal cleavages and be patient in exploiting them. — Samantha Power, New York Times Book Review, 29 July 2007 I pack them into the compartment for a visit, pack till it's full far beyond capacity and weep with them, share with them my scanty bit of good fortune, tell them I care, tell them be patient, tell them I'm on their side … — John Edgar Wideman, Harper's, December 2003 There's no sense being patient with people who make you wait, because they'll only make you wait longer the next time. — Andrew A. Rooney, And More by Andy Rooney, (1979) 1982 I hate having to stand in long lines. I'm just not very patient. The teacher treated her students in a patient and understanding way. “Aren't you finished yet?” “Be patient. I'll be done soon.” Proofreading requires patient attention to detail. They put in years of patient labor on the project. Noun Several patients were waiting to see the doctor. the nurse asked the patient to change into a paper gown
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As the organization celebrates a century of extraordinary patient care, Scottish Rite remains committed to leading the world in pediatric orthopedics for the next 100 years. Dallas News, "How Scottish Rite for Children has innovated pediatric orthopedics for a century," 4 May 2021 Scripps Health said Sunday it was hit with an attack on its computer network on the weekend, halting access to its computer system but not affecting patient care. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Scripps Health hit by IT “security incident” but patient care goes on," 2 May 2021 Adding human-in-the-loop technology to the industry ensures that medical professionals can use data to augment their practice, constantly improve and offer better patient care. Troy Pospisil, Forbes, "Robots Aren't Taking Over The World (Yet) — Artificial Plus Human Intelligence Is Still The Best Combo," 28 Apr. 2021 Regulations must also prioritize patient care and safety, the main mission of our healthcare system. Sandeep Jauhar, WSJ, "The Crushing Burden of Healthcare Microregulation," 28 Apr. 2021 The hospital was able to orchestrate data from dozens of workflows inside and outside of the hospital so that its analytics team could focus on patient care and hospitals operations. Ayman Sayed, Fortune, "COVID has revealed the essential value of the digital ‘pivot’," 27 Apr. 2021 Full Spectrum Health will stick around for patient care as long as it is needed, to make sure there are no gaps in coverage, Wiese said. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "A new nonprofit health clinic in Anchorage aims to provide more affordable care for the LGBTQ+ community," 13 Apr. 2021 The project found that nurses, support staff and nursing home employees, who handled everyday patient care, were far more likely to die in the pandemic than physicians. Julie Washington, cleveland, "3,600 American health care workers believed to have died during pandemic; vaccination card scam: Coronavirus update for April 9, 2021," 9 Apr. 2021 Optum also runs a fast-growing division that provides patient care through clinics, surgery centers and facilities for urgent care. Star Tribune, "UnitedHealth CEO makes first changes to leadership team," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Predictive healthcare doesn’t mean that the patient will never get sick or that every detected malady will be cured. Itzik Kotler, Forbes, "Predictive Security Is Good Medicine," 6 May 2021 The patient went to the hospital and his symptoms were recognized and addressed. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, "University of Utah treated a man who developed blood clotting after receiving Johnson & Johnson vaccine," 5 May 2021 Her son, Aditya, looks angrily as another patient is moved into a ward. Reuters, ABC News, "In hospitals during India’s COVID-19 crisis, doctors must choose ‘who to be saved’," 5 May 2021 Vials that contain 10 doses might be too large for doctors who consult an unvaccinated patient during a routine visit. Ken Alltucker, USA Today, "States prepare for long grind as demand for COVID-19 vaccinations in US slows," 5 May 2021 In early 2001, an Indian pharmaceutical company named Cipla decided to offer a triple-combination ART regimen at $350 per patient per year. Dr. Monica Gandhi, Time, "The Most Important Thing Rich Countries Can Do to Help India Fight COVID-19," 5 May 2021 ECGs are quick and painless, experts say, with a dozen stickers attached to the patient’s chest, connecting electrodes to the machine that records the heart’s electrical signals. Leslie Postal,, "‘It saves lives’: OCPS students must get ECGs to play sports, school board decides," 4 May 2021 Total remission—meaning the patient no longer experiences asthma symptoms at all—is very rare. Maggie O'neill,, "Does Asthma Go Away? Here’s What Experts Say," 4 May 2021 And, suddenly, Payton the patient became Payton the friend., "At Worcester Polytechnic, students fashion a new prosthetic hand, and an abiding, long-distance friendship," 3 May 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for patient

Adjective and Noun

Middle English pacient, from Anglo-French, from Latin patient-, patiens, from present participle of pati to suffer; perhaps akin to Greek pēma suffering

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Time Traveler for patient

Time Traveler

The first known use of patient was in the 14th century

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Statistics for patient

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Patient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for patient



English Language Learners Definition of patient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people
: done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying



English Language Learners Definition of patient (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who receives medical care or treatment


pa·​tient | \ ˈpā-shənt How to pronounce patient (audio) \

Kids Definition of patient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: able to or showing the ability to remain calm when dealing with a difficult or annoying situation, task, or person a patient response a patient teacher

Other Words from patient

patiently adverb



Kids Definition of patient (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person under medical care or treatment


pa·​tient | \ ˈpā-shənt How to pronounce patient (audio) \

Medical Definition of patient

1 : a sick individual especially when awaiting or under the care and treatment of a physician or surgeon the hospital is equipped to handle 500 patients
2 : a client for medical service (as of a physician or dentist) a good practice with a large number of patients

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