Patients vs Patience: What’s The Difference?

Have you seen patients and patience in the English language but can’t remember which one is which? Have you ever been confused about their definitions and wanted to make sure you are using the correct one for your sentence? This article will guide you on how to use these easily confused words correctly with confidence.

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What Is the Definition of the Words Patients and Patience?

The Definition of Patient

  • Noun patient
    • a person who is under medical care or is receiving medical attention in the healthcare field.
    • A person or thing that undergoes some action.
    • Archaic. a sufferer or victim.
  • Adjective patient
    • bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like. A character trait. 
    • characterized by or expressing such a quality:
      • a patient smile.
    • quietly and steadily persevering or diligent, especially in detail or exactness:
      • a patient worker.
  • Undergoing the action of another (opposed to agent).
  • The plural form of patient is regular “patients”

The Definition of Patience

  • Noun patience
    • 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; sufferance.
  • There is no adjective form of patience

What Is the Difference Between Patients and Patience?

Although both words sound similar since they are homophones or homonyms, they have very different meanings. The noun form patients describe someone who is receiving medical care or medical treatment, whereas patience describes someone who has a character quality of being able to wait, be calm, and endure something.

Synonyms of Patients and Patience



Examples of the Words in Context




You can now be assured in your confidence with using the word patient vs patience and know a lot more about the words. You will be able to write a sentence with either and feel that you are well informed with which to use.