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Patient vs. Patience: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Patient is a person receiving medical care. Patience is the ability to wait or tolerate delays without becoming annoyed.
Patient vs. Patience

Key Differences

The term "patient" primarily refers to an individual under medical care or treatment, highlighting a specific role in a healthcare context. Conversely, "patience" is a virtue or quality, signifying one's capacity to endure waiting, delays, or frustration without becoming agitated or upset.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023
In usage, "patient" often appears in medical or health-related discussions, indicating a person who is ill or seeking medical attention. "Patience," on the other hand, is universally applicable, describing a behavioral trait that can be exhibited in any situation requiring calm endurance or persistence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023
The word "patient" can also denote a broader sense of bearing troubles or suffering calmly, though this is less common. In contrast, "patience" explicitly represents the act of being patient, emphasizing the endurance aspect over the context of health or illness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023
Linguistically, "patient" serves as both a noun and an adjective, whereas "patience" is strictly a noun. This difference underscores "patient's" dual role in describing a person and a characteristic, while "patience" remains focused on the trait alone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023
From an etymological perspective, both "patient" and "patience" share a common Latin root, "pati," meaning to suffer or endure. However, their modern meanings have diverged, with "patient" leaning towards healthcare contexts and "patience" embodying a broader behavioral quality.
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Noun and adjective
Noun
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Context of Use

Healthcare, illness
General, behavioral trait
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Etymological Origin

Latin "pati" (to suffer)
Latin "pati" (to suffer)
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Common Associations

Hospitals, doctors, treatment
Waiting, endurance, calmness
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Linguistic Usage

Describes a person or condition
Describes a quality or behavior
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Patient and Patience Definitions

Patient

Enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance calmly and without complaint.
He was patient with the children even when they were noisy.
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Nov 14, 2023

Patience

The ability to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.
His patience was tested during the long and complex project.
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Patient

Capable of accepting or tolerating delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
You must be patient, as the process can take several weeks.
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Patience

The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint or loss of temper.
Her patience with the slow progress was admirable.
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Patient

A person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.
The hospital was full of patients waiting for surgery.
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Patience

The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
She showed great patience when teaching her younger brother.
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Patient

Used to indicate someone under the care of a particular professional.
As a dentist's patient, she was nervous about her appointment.
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Patience

A state of endurance under difficult circumstances.
Patience is often required in long-term endeavors.
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Patient

Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness
Tried to remain patient when the airline announced the flight was delayed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patience

Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Patience is key in learning a new language.
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Nov 14, 2023

Patient

Marked by or exhibiting calm endurance of pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance
Responded to the accusations with a patient smile.
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Patience

The capacity, quality, or fact of being patient
"The task of mastering ancient languages ... takes years of study, and persistence, and patience" (Cullen Murphy).
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Patient

Tolerant; understanding
An unfailingly patient leader and guide.
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Patience

Chiefly British, Games Solitaire.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

Persevering; constant
With patient industry, she revived the failing business and made it thrive.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patience

The quality of being patient.
Musical perfection requires practice and a lot of patience.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

Capable of calmly awaiting an outcome or result; not hasty or impulsive.
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Patience

Any of various card games that can be played by one person. Called solitaire in the US and Canada.
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Patient

Capable of bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance
“My uncle Toby was a man patient of injuries” (Laurence Sterne).
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Patience

The state or quality of being patient; the power of suffering with fortitude; uncomplaining endurance of evils or wrongs, as toil, pain, poverty, insult, oppression, calamity, etc.
Strengthened with all might, . . . unto all patience and long-suffering.
I must have patience to endure the load.
Who hath learned lowlinessFrom his Lord's cradle, patience from his cross.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

One who receives medical attention, care, or treatment.
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Patience

The act or power of calmly or contentedly waiting for something due or hoped for; forbearance.
Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

(Linguistics) A noun or noun phrase identifying one that is acted upon or undergoes an action. Also called goal.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patience

Constancy in labor or application; perseverance.
He learned with patience, and with meekness taught.
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Patient

(Obsolete) One who suffers.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patience

Sufferance; permission.
They stay upon your patience.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

(of a person) Willing to wait if necessary; not losing one's temper while waiting.
Be patient: your friends will arrive in a few hours.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patience

A kind of dock (Rumex Patientia), less common in America than in Europe; monk's rhubarb.
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Patient

Constant in pursuit or exertion; persevering; calmly diligent.
Patient endeavour
A patient wait
Patient analysis
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Oct 19, 2023

Patience

Solitaire.
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Patient

(obsolete) Physically able to suffer or bear.
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Patience

Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence
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Patient

A person or animal who receives treatment from a doctor or other medically educated person.
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Patience

A card game played by one person
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Patient

The noun or noun phrase that is semantically on the receiving end of a verb's action.
The subject of a passive verb is usually a patient.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

One who, or that which, is passively affected; a passive recipient.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

Having the quality of enduring; physically able to suffer or bear.
Patient of severest toil and hardship.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

Undergoing pains, trials, or the like, without murmuring or fretfulness; bearing up with equanimity against trouble; long-suffering.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

Constant in pursuit or exertion; persevering; calmly diligent; as, patient endeavor.
Whatever I have done is due to patient thought.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

Expectant with calmness, or without discontent; not hasty; not overeager; composed.
Not patient to expect the turns of fate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

Forbearing; long-suffering.
Be patient toward all men.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

One who, or that which, is passively affected; a passive recipient.
Malice is a passion so impetuous and precipitate that it often involves the agent and the patient.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

A person under medical or surgical treatment; - correlative to physician or nurse.
Like a physician, . . . seeing his patient in a pestilent fever.
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

To compose, to calm.
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Patient

A person who requires medical care;
The number of emergency patients has grown rapidly
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Oct 19, 2023

Patient

The semantic role of an entity that is not the agent but is directly involved in or affected by the happening denoted by the verb in the clause
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Patient

Enduring trying circumstances with even temper or characterized by such endurance;
A patient smile
Was patient with the children
An exact and patient scientist
Please be patient
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Patient

Enduring without protest or complaint
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Patient

Showing self-control and restraint under provocation.
She remained patient despite the repeated delays.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can "patience" refer to a medical condition?

No, it strictly refers to a behavioral quality.
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Nov 14, 2023

Can "patience" be used to describe a person?

No, it describes a behavioral trait, not a person.
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Nov 14, 2023

Does "patient" have an adjective form?

Yes, it can describe someone who is enduring or tolerant.
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Are "patient" and "patience" interchangeable?

No, they have distinct meanings and uses.
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What is a synonym for "patience"?

Endurance, tolerance, or fortitude.
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Can "patience" be learned or improved?

Yes, it's a trait that can be developed over time.
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Nov 14, 2023

Are there synonyms for "patient" in a medical sense?

Yes, such as "in-patient" or "out-patient" depending on the context.
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Nov 14, 2023

Can "patient" be a verb?

No, it's only a noun or adjective.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is "patient" only used in medical contexts?

Primarily, yes, but it can also describe someone enduring difficulties calmly.
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Nov 14, 2023

Can animals be described as "patient"?

Yes, in the sense of showing calm endurance.
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What are idioms related to "patience"?

"Patience is a virtue," for example.
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Can technology be described as "patient"?

No, it's a human or animate characteristic.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is "patient" always related to illness?

Mostly, but it can also mean someone tolerating a situation.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is "patience" ever used in a medical context?

Not typically; it's more about behavior.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is "patience" a skill?

It can be considered a skill in managing emotions and reactions.
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Nov 14, 2023

Are there cultural differences in how "patient" is perceived?

Yes, perceptions can vary based on healthcare norms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Are there idioms related to "patient"?

Not directly, though there are many health-related phrases.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Can "patient" refer to a legal status?

Not usually; it's mainly medical or behavioral.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Does "patience" vary in different cultures?

The concept is universal, but cultural attitudes towards it can vary.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is "patience" a common virtue?

Yes, it's widely regarded as a positive trait.
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Nov 14, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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