Patients or Patience?

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Patients or Patience?

What is the difference between "patients" and "patience"?
  • Patients. Patients are people receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.
  • Patience. Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
patience or patients?

More about "Patients" and "Patience"

The words "patients" and "patience" sound identical (i.e., they are homonyms), but their meanings are quite different.


The word "patients" is the plural of the singular "patient," which is a noun that means a person receiving or schedule to receive medical treatment.

Example sentences with "patients":
  • We should be concerned not only about the health of individual patients, but also the health of our entire society.
  • Patients know in a heartbeat if they're getting a clumsy exam.


The abstract noun "patience" means the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. If someone demonstrates or has "patience," they are described as being "patient." In this sense, "patient" is an adjective so it is never written as "patients."

Example sentences with "patience":
  • Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting.
  • Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

"Patients" Is Always a Noun

As a noun, a "patient" receives medical treatment. As an adjective, "patient" means tolerant. In other words, it is the adjective of the noun "patience." This is the root of the confusion between the words "patients" and "patience."

If you see the word "patients," it always means more than one person receiving treatment. "Patients" has nothing to do with "patience."
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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? cannot or can not? who's or whose? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words