the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.
Cards (chiefly British ). solitaire(def 1).
Also called patience dock. a European dock, Rumex patientia, of the buckwheat family, whose leaves are often used as a vegetable.
Obsolete. leave; permission; sufference.

Origin of patience

1175–1225; Middle English pacience < Old French < Latin patientia. See patient, -ence
Related formssu·per·pa·tience, noun

Synonyms for patience

1. composure, stability, self-possession; submissiveness, sufferance. Patience, endurance, fortitude, stoicism imply qualities of calmness, stability, and persistent courage in trying circumstances. Patience may denote calm, self-possessed, and unrepining bearing of pain, misfortune, annoyance, or delay; or painstaking and untiring industry or (less often) application in the doing of somehing: to bear afflictions with patience. Endurance denotes the ability to bear exertion, hardship, or suffering (without implication of moral qualities required or shown): Running in a marathon requires great endurance. Fortitude implies not only patience but courage and strength of character in the midst of pain, affliction, or hardship: to show fortitude in adversity. Stoicism is calm fortitude, with such repression of emotion as to seem almost like indifference to pleasure or pain: The American Indians were noted for stoicism under torture. 3. indefatigability, persistence, assiduity.


[pey-shuh ns]


a female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for patiences

Historical Examples of patiences

  • What are you and Bertie sitting here for like two Patiences on monuments?

    Dodo, Volumes 1 and 2

    Edward Frederic Benson

  • Suddenly the soldier in command stopped in front of Patiences chair and laid a heavy hand on her little bare, brown arm.

    Boys and Girls of Colonial Days

    Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

  • There was the square of rough cloth in her hand, and the sticky needle, and the thread that would knot in spite of Patiences care.

    Boys and Girls of Colonial Days

    Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

  • People who are really fond of other patiences don't; they despise it because it comes out.

    The Lee Shore

    Rose Macaulay

British Dictionary definitions for patiences



tolerant and even-tempered perseverance
the capacity for calmly enduring pain, trying situations, etc
mainly British any of various card games for one player only, in which the cards may be laid out in various combinations as the player tries to use up the whole packUS equivalent: solitaire
obsolete permission; sufferance

Word Origin for patience

C13: via Old French from Latin patientia endurance, from patī to suffer
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 patiences



c.1200, "quality of being patient in suffering," from Old French pacience "patience; sufferance, permission" (12c.) and directly from Latin patientia "patience, endurance, submission; quality of suffering," from patientem (nominative patiens), present participle of pati "to suffer, endure," from PIE root *pe(i)- "to damage, injure, hurt" (see passion).

Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]

Meaning "constancy in effort" is attested from 1510s. Meaning "card game for one person" is from 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with patiences


see try one's patience.

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