• synonyms


[im-pey-shuh nz]
noun, plural im·pa·tiens.
  1. any of numerous plants belonging to the genus Impatiens, of the balsam family, having irregular flowers in which the calyx and corolla are not clearly distinguishable and bearing fruit that bursts open to scatter the seeds.
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Origin of impatiens

1880–85; < New Latin, Latin impatiēns not enduring, not tolerating (see impatient); alluding to the plant's quick release of seeds upon slight contact; compare the familiar name touch-me-not
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for impatiens

Historical Examples of impatiens

  • The two genera best known in British gardens are Balsamina and Impatiens.

    Botany for Ladies

    Jane Loudon

  • Impatiens Sultani is a generally known conservatory plant, making a charming pot subject for warm greenhouse or a room.

  • Impatiens balsamīna, native of the East Indies, is a common cultivated species.

  • A separate order, called Hydrocere, has been made of one of the species of Impatiens (I. natans).

  • I have only recorded a single instance, and in this a honey bee was seen to perforate the fragile spurs of Impatiens.

British Dictionary definitions for impatiens


noun plural -ens
  1. any balsaminaceous plant of the genus Impatiens, such as balsam, touch-me-not, busy Lizzie, and policeman's helmet
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Word Origin for impatiens

C18: New Latin from Latin: impatient; from the fact that the ripe pods burst open when touched
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