View synonyms for impatient


[ im-pey-shuhnt ]


  1. not patient; not accepting delay, opposition, pain, etc., with calm or patience.

    Synonyms: abrupt, brusque, curt, hot, violent, fretful, testy, irritable, unquiet, uneasy

    Antonyms: calm

  2. indicating lack of patience:

    an impatient answer.

    Synonyms: abrupt, brusque, curt, hot, violent, fretful, testy, irritable

  3. restless in desire or expectation; eagerly desirous.

    Synonyms: hasty, sudden, precipitate, impetuous


/ ɪmˈpeɪʃənt /


  1. lacking patience; easily irritated at delay, opposition, etc
  2. exhibiting lack of patience

    an impatient retort

  3. postpositivefoll byof intolerant (of) or indignant (at)

    impatient of indecision

  4. postpositiveoften foll byfor restlessly eager (for something or to do something)

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Derived Forms

  • imˈpatiently, adverb

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Other Words From

  • im·patient·ly adverb
  • im·patient·ness noun
  • unim·patient adjective
  • unim·patient·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of impatient1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English impacient, from Latin impatient-, stem of impatiēns “not enduring, not tolerating”; equivalent to im- 2 + patient

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. impatient of, intolerant of:

    impatient of any interruptions.

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Example Sentences

If you spend enough time observing the Pacific’s waves, impatient and determined — as if purposefully trying to get somewhere — you can almost hear them speak.

From Ozy

He’s an impatient man, so 10 minutes of his time is a bit like two hours of somebody else’s time.

The city’s lease for Civic Center Plaza had gone month-to-month and the owners were impatient as the city’s initial plans to buy the building fell apart.

On the flip side, it’s also possible that increased state ownership of airlines will make governments impatient to return them to profitability, and therefore less willing to impose new taxes or restrictions that could hit airlines’ bottom line.

From Time

An impatient date strolled to one girl, pulled her away from her friends, yanked down her mask and his own.

On AboveTopSecret, Syrian Sister was impatient for his execution.

When impatient or tired, as he often is in his wheelchair, he stims: tapping his head, biting his arm, rocking.

After a while I became impatient and tried to move, but the box was too narrow.

Yes, a Plan B, one that places more stock in patient strategy as opposed to impatient action.

But the shutdown is something of a sideshow, provoked by impatient conservatives who wanted confrontation.

He stared at his men, astonished and impatient at this strange disobedience.

The carriage, waiting to convey them away, was already at the door, the impatient horses pawing the ground.

An impatient pupil who never learns anything thoroughly often disregards the rule about silent consonants.

The socialist reads such criticism as the above with impatient approval.

He would at once become stubborn and ugly, because he is not used to our quick, nervous, impatient ways.


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More About Impatient

What does impatient mean?

Impatient means not accepting delays or obstacles with restraint and self-control, as in Fans were so impatient for the next book in the series that they overwhelmed the author with messages on Twitter.

Someone who is impatient is generally not happy with having to wait. You might be impatient for your vacation to come, thinking about your vacation all the time and becoming irritable because it’s not vacation time yet. A driver might be impatient about being stuck in traffic, blowing their horn repeatedly to show their impatience.

Impatient can be used figuratively to describe events that happen quickly. For example, an impatient winter might describe a time in the autumn when the temperature drops quickly, implying that the winter season was too impatient to wait until its proper time to come.

Impatient is sometimes used in the idiom impatient of, meaning intolerant of. For example, someone who is generally kind and patient may be impatient of lying. If they’re lied to, they may become irritable and argumentative with the person telling the lie. Impatient of is normally used in situations in which someone is drawing contrast to their tolerance of other things by highlighting their impatience of something.

Example: I’ve had so much work lately, but my boss is still impatient about my handing in work on time.

Where does impatient come from?

The first records of the term impatient come from around the 1350s. It ultimately comes from the Latin impatiēns, meaning “not enduring” or “not tolerating.”

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What are some other forms related to impatient?

  • impatiently (adverb)
  • impatientness (noun)
  • unimpatient (adjective)
  • unimpatiently (adverb)

What are some synonyms for impatient?

What are some words that share a root or word element with impatient

What are some words that often get used in discussing impatient?

What are some words impatient may be commonly confused with?

How is impatient used in real life?

Impatient is a common word used to describe a lack of patience.

Try using impatient!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for impatient?

A. anxious
B. tolerant
D. testy

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.