Difference Between Patience and Patient

By: | Updated: Jul-18, 2021

Patience and patient are two different terms that refer to the ability of a person to wait for something. They have many similarities between them. For example, both of these terms can be used in situations where someone is waiting for something or somebody else. However, there are also some differences between the two terms.

In the English language, “patience” and “patient” have different purposes and roles in a sentence. So, what actually are the differences between patience and patient? In this article, we will discuss the differences between patience and patient, their meanings in English language, and some examples of when you should use one term over another. Let’s begin.

Summary Table:

Patient Patience
Is used to describe a person who has to endure something that is difficult or unpleasant. Means “the ability to withstand pain or hardship without complaining”
Generally a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. A noun that describes the ability rather than the person.
Is usually used in a negative context Is usually used in a positive context

Definitions:

Difference Between Patience and Patient

Before we talk about the differences between “patience” and “patient”, let’s first define what we mean by “patient” and “patience.” To do this, we need to take a look back at the definitions and meanings of these two words, the different usages of these two words, and the phrases in which they are used.

What is patient?

Patient is a noun that means “a person who accepts suffering or pain willingly for the sake of an end”. This definition also refers to “someone who undergoes treatment or medical procedures without resistance”.

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Patient is also a adjective that means “to accept or tolerate something,” and it can also mean “to endure something or someone” or “to wait for something or someone”. It can also be an adverb and means “with patience or in a calm and peaceful manner”. For example, the phrase “waiting patiently” has an adverb that means “in a patient manner.”

What are the examples of “patient”?

Some examples of patient in a sentence are:

“The patient was treated immediately.”

“The sick patient waited patiently for his recovery.”

“The old woman sat and waited patiently for her friend to come back home.”

“She is the kind of patient who can wait endlessly for something good to happen.”

What is patience?

Patience is a noun that also means “the ability to tolerate or endure something”. This definition also refers to “the quality of being patient, as in being able to wait or tolerate pain, hardship, etc.” For example, “His patience paid off” means that he was patient enough to wait for the right time to get what he wanted. “Patience” is also an adjective if you want to say “to be patient”.

What are the examples of “patience”?

Some examples of patience in a sentence are:

“He has the patience to endure the pain.”

“She was known for her patience and tolerance of pain and hardship.”

“My patience is being tested.”

“The patience to bear pain and hardship is not in short supply.”

“He showed great patience while waiting for his turn to speak.”

Patience Vs. Patient:

As you may know, there are several words that have a similar meaning. For example, “patience” and “patient” are both used to describe a person who has the ability to bear suffering or tolerate something that is difficult. But, there are some subtle differences between patience and patient. Now, let’s take a look at the differences between these two words.

The Meaning

As mentioned above, the word “patient” is used to describe a person who has the ability to endure something that is difficult or unpleasant. The word “patience” means “to have the power of endurance or long-suffering”. It can also mean “the ability to withstand pain or hardship without complaining”.

The Grammatical Use

The word “patient” is a noun generally used to describe someone who has suffered a great deal of pain or hardship. For example, if you were in a car accident and you were left with scars on your face, you would probably be described as being a patient by the medical staff.

On the other hand, the word “patience” is a noun or an adjective that describes the ability to endure something that is difficult or unpleasant. For example, if you were given detention at school for breaking your chair, then this would be an example of someone who has a lot of patience.

“Patient” can also be an adjective or an adverb when it is used to describe a person’s effort of patience. For example, if you are “patient” enough to wait for a long time in a queue, then this would be an example of someone who is “patient”.

In “she waits patiently to see the doctor”, this would be an example of a person who is “patient”. In this sentence, “patient” can also be used as an adverb.

The Meaning in Different Contexts

You can use patience to describe someone who has the ability to bear suffering or tolerate something that is difficult. However, patience is also used to describe the ability to withstand pain or hardship without complaining. In contrast, you can use patient when describing everyday activities that take time and require patience.

The Negative Tone

The noun “patient” is usually used in a negative context. For example, if you are described as being “a patient” in a hospital or as being “patient” to the pain of an operation, then this would be an example of someone who is suffering.

On the other hand, the noun “patience” is usually used in a positive context. However, when the word “patient” becomes an adjective or an adverb, it will also have a positive context because it shows that a person has an ability to endure something that is difficult or unpleasant and actually get out of it without complaining.

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