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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Consumers might prefer to use apps or products that promise to protect patient privacy. Darius Tahir, Fortune, 18 May 2022 Instead of pressing for that moment on Tuesday against the Cleveland Guardians, Pham stayed patient and walked. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 18 May 2022 When adjusting for patient illness, Mass General Brigham said its price growth was well within the state’s limits. Globe Staff,, 17 May 2022 But even the most patient coach would have been peeved watching Ayton jogging down the court and setting half-hearted screens in the opening minutes Sunday. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 17 May 2022 With the patient upright, the breast can be held away from the body, delivering virtually no radiation to the other organs. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2022 But just as rainy days eventually give way to sunshine, patient investors can count on another bull market run once this volatility subsides. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 16 May 2022 In just one episode, Gomez pulled off being a Bratz doll, a Latina talk show host, a documentarian, a princess, a jealous partner, a bad understudy, a model spokesperson, an irresponsible older sister and a way-too-patient girlfriend. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, 15 May 2022 Annual turnover has been a fraction of other states’ since the law was enacted in 2004, and nursing injuries and patient re-admissions plunged too, Brogan said. Lauren Coleman-lochner, Anchorage Daily News, 15 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The patient, who was vaccinated and boosted, was over 65 — the age group at highest risk of severe disease — and had several underlying conditions. Alexander Tin, CBS News, 6 May 2022 Directed by Indian filmmaker Suresh Triveni (of Tumhari Sulu fame), Jalsa features young debutant actor Surya Kasibhatla - a cerebral palsy patient essaying the role of a child with cerebral palsy. Sweta Kaushal, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The patient’s widow, who sued the university in 2019 after her husband died of a toxic reaction to a chemotherapy drug, was overjoyed. oregonlive, 4 May 2022 Charness’ patient, who has intermittent asthma, started Paxlovid the day his Covid symptoms began. NBC News, 27 Apr. 2022 Another patient, Beck, who asked not to be identified by her last name over concerns of privacy, has been on methadone for eight years. Lindsey Ellefson, The New Republic, 27 Apr. 2022 Much of what Vytalize does focuses on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship, Ghawi said, while giving physicians actionable ways to improve their patients’ care. Sean Mcdonnell, cleveland, 11 Apr. 2022 Right now, the spinning intellectual property wheel has stopped on Dr. Michael Morbius — prize-winning scientist, terminally ill patient, Type O connoisseur. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 31 Mar. 2022 Frustrated residents are struggling to secure fresh food, while accessing medical care gets harder as select hospitals prioritize Covid patients and close out-patient services., 26 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near patient



patient dumping

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Statistics for patient

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Patient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for patient


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

More from Merriam-Webster on patient

Nglish: Translation of patient for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of patient for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about patient


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