[im-pey-shuh ns]


lack of patience.
eager desire for relief or change; restlessness.
intolerance of anything that thwarts, delays, or hinders.

Origin of impatience

1175–1225; Middle English impacience < Latin impatientia. See im-2, patience Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impatience

Contemporary Examples of impatience

Historical Examples of impatience

  • At length, carried away by impatience, I reprimanded him publicly.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • I am all impatience to hear how this astonishing change was effected.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • The story was not yet finished; but George's impatience caused him to interrupt it.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Again the Judge put the question, this time with some impatience.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • It was a hot day—she walked fast from the hurry and impatience of her mind.

British Dictionary definitions for impatience



lack of patience; intolerance of or irritability with anything that impedes or delays
restless desire for change and excitement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for impatience

c.1200, from Old French impacience (Modern French impatience) and directly from Latin impatientia, from impatiens (see impatient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper