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  1. not patient; not accepting delay, opposition, pain, etc., with calm or patience.
  2. indicating lack of patience: an impatient answer.
  3. restless in desire or expectation; eagerly desirous.
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  1. impatient of, intolerant of: impatient of any interruptions.
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Origin of impatient

1350–1400; Middle English impacient < Latin impatient- (stem of impatiēns) not enduring, not tolerating. See im-2, patient
Related formsim·pa·tient·ly, adverbim·pa·tient·ness, nounun·im·pa·tient, adjectiveun·im·pa·tient·ly, adverb

Synonyms for impatient

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Antonyms for impatient

1. calm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for impatient

restless, thirsty, keen, testy, anxious, eager, irritable, abrupt, agog, antsy, ardent, athirst, avid, breathless, brusque, choleric, curt, demanding, edgy, feverish

Examples from the Web for impatient

Contemporary Examples of impatient

Historical Examples of impatient

British Dictionary definitions for impatient


  1. lacking patience; easily irritated at delay, opposition, etc
  2. exhibiting lack of patiencean impatient retort
  3. (postpositive foll by of) intolerant (of) or indignant (at)impatient of indecision
  4. (postpositive often foll by for) restlessly eager (for something or to do something)
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Derived Formsimpatiently, adverb
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 impatient


late 14c., from Old French impacient (Modern French impatient), from Latin impatientem (nominative impatiens) "that cannot bear, intolerant, impatient," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + patiens (see patience). Related: Impatiently.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper