Word: Long-suffering.

Oxford English Dictionary

  1. Having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.
    • His father was a patient, long-suffering character who was mercilessly hen-pecked.
    • Among them were letters from Nelson's long-suffering wife, Fanny.
    • His long-suffering wife, Nora, faces an everyday struggle to find money for food and other essentials.
  • patient, forbearing, tolerant, uncomplaining, with the patience of Job, stoical, resigned; easy-going, indulgent, charitable, accommodating, forgiving; submissive, deferential, acquiescent, meek, docile, compliant, mild
Antonyms: Impatient, complaining.

Random House Dictionary

Syllabification: Long-suf·fer·ing.

Pronunciation: lawng-suhf-er-ing, -suhf-ring, long-.


  1. Adjective. Enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently.
  2. Noun. Long and patient endurance of injury, trouble, or provocation: years of long-suffering and illness.

Origin: 1520–30.

Related Forms: long-suf·fer·ing·ly, adverb.

Word: Patience.

Oxford English Dictionary

  1. The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
    • You can find bargains if you have the patience to sift through the rubbish.
    • I have run out of patience with her.
    • In my experience foreigners have no patience with this sort of thinking.
    • I made a third phone call a few days later, but their patience with me was obviously running out.
    • He is a decent hitter, has great patience at the plate and is defensively solid.

Origin: Middle English: from Old French, from Latin patientia, from patient- 'suffering', from the verb pati.


  • Forbearance, tolerance, restraint, self-restraint, resignation, stoicism, fortitude, sufferance, endurance; calmness, composure, even temper, even-temperedness, equanimity, equilibrium, serenity, tranquillity, imperturbability, unexcitability, understanding, indulgence, lenience, kindness, consideration.
  • Rare Longanimity, inexcitability.
  • Perseverance, persistence, endurance, tenacity, diligence, assiduity, application, staying power, indefatigability, doggedness, determination, resolve, resolution, resoluteness, obstinacy, insistence, singleness of purpose, purposefulness, pertinacity.

Antonyms: Impatient, complaining.

Phrases: Lose patience (or lose one's patience): Become unable to keep one's temper.

  • Even Laurence finally lost patience with him.
  • Gareth was slowly losing his patience and temper as he tried to get them to block each other's blows.
  • Rhea was close to losing her patience and her temper.
  • Just keep a cool head and don't lose your patience or your temper.

Wolfram Alpha


  1. Noun. Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.
  2. Noun. A card game played by one person.

Pronunciation: p'eyshuhns

Hyphenation: pa-tience (8 letters, 2 syllables)

First Known Use in English: 1225 (High Middle Ages).

Word Origins: Old French, Latin.

Inflected Form: Patiences.

Synonyms: Forbearance, longanimity, solitaire.

Antonym: Impatience.

Narrower Terms: Canfield, crapette, klondike, Russian bank.

Broader Terms: Good nature, card game, cards.

Rhymes: Admirations, impatience.

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Word Tree
WORD: makrothyMEo- (3114) to suffer long, forbear, endure patiently, tarry, delay
  • FROM:
    makROS (3117) long
  • DERIV:
  • makRAN (3112) far, long, far off
  • makROthen (3113) from afar
  • makroCHROnios (3118) enduring a long time, long-lived
  • SYN:
  • ekteNE-s (1618) stretched out, continual, intense
  • die-neKES (1336) continual, perpetual, protracted
  • adiAleiptos (88) unceasing, continual, without intermission
  • ANT:
  • braCHYS (1024) short, small in time, space, or quantity
  • ePHE-meros (2184) for the day, ephemeral, daily
  • mikROS (3398) small, little, smaller, less
  • synTOmo-s (4935) concisely, briefly, in few words
  • thyMOS (2372) the mind, thought, but also anger, wrath, indignation, a spirit that is aroused
  • FROM:
  • THYo- (n.f.) to move impetuously, particularly as the air or wind, a violent motion or passion of the mind
  • DERIV:
  • enthyMEomai (1760) to have or resolve in mind, to think upon, to remember with agitation of spirit
  • epithyMEo- (1937) to have the affections directed toward something, to lust, desire, long after
  • EUthymos (2115) well-minded, well-disposed, benign
  • thymomaCHEo- (2371) to fight fiercely, to be greatly offended, enraged against
  • thyMOo- (2373) to provoke to anger
  • PROthymos (4289) predisposed, ready, willing, prompt
  • proTHYmo-s (4290) readily, willingly, with alacrity
  • SYN:
  • parorgisMOS (3950) the irritation, exasperation, or anger to which one is provoked
  • ZE-los (2205) zeal, envy, jealousy, anger
  • paroxysMOS (3948) a sharpening, encouragement to some act or feeling; a paroxysm, sharp contention, angry dispute
  • ANT:
  • eiRE-ne- (1515) peace, harmony, tranquility; health, welfare, prosperity
  • he-syCHIa (2271) quietness, tranquility, stillness
  • gaLE-ne-(1055) a calmness, tranquility, or quietness of the sea
  • DERIV:
    makrothyMIa (3115) forbearance, long-suffering, self-restraint before proceeding to action
  • SYN:
  • anoCHE- (463) forbearance, indulgence, temporary long-suffering
  • epiEIkeia (1932) clemency, gentleness, consideration
  • ANT:
  • agaNAKte-sis (24) indignation
  • orGE- (3709) wrath, anger as a state of mind
  • thyMOS [see above, under FROM of "makrothyMEo-"]
  • makroTHYmos (3116) patiently
  • SYN:
  • hypoMEno- (5278) persevere, endure, sustain, bear up under [see Endureth All Things]
  • anECHomai (430) to hold oneself upright, to bear up, hold out, endure
  • FROM:
  • anECHo- (430)
  • FROM:
  • aNA (303) in
  • Echo- (2192) to have
  • DERIV:
  • anekTOteros (414) more tolerable, easier to be borne
  • aneXIkakos (420) patient, describing one who bears evil, sorrow, ill
  • anoCHE- [see above, under SYN of "makrothyMIa"]
  • SYN:
  • basTAzo- (941) to raise upon a basis, to support, to take up and hold, to bear
  • PHEro- (5342) to bear, bring
  • hypoPHEro- (5297) to underpin, bear up from underneath, support, sustain, to bear up under, endure evils
  • phoREo- (5409) to bear about with or on oneself, to wear
  • tropophoREo- (5159) to be patient with the difficult or idiosyncratic manners and conduct of others
  • STEgo- [see page "beareth all things"]
  • metriopaTHEo- (3356) to act with moderation, to moderate one's anger towards, to pardon, treat with mildness or meekness
  • kakopaTHEo- (2553) to suffer evil or afflictions, to be afflicted, to endure, sustain afflictions, endure hardships
  • PAScho- (3958) to suffer, to be affected by something from without, to be acted upon, to undergo an experience
  • ANT:
  • KRIno- (2919) to separate, discriminate between good and evil, to judge, to form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case
  • karteREo- (2594) to be strong, steadfast, firm, to endure, hold out, bear the burden
  • FROM:
  • karteROS (n.f.) strength
  • DERIV:
  • proskarteREo- (4342) to tarry, remain somewhere, to continue steadfastly with someone, cleave to someone, be steadfast and faithful in the outgoings of the Christian life, esp. in prayer
  • SYN:
  • MEno- (3306) to remain, abide, dwell, live
  • synkakopaTHEo- (4777) to suffer hardship, evil, or affliction along with someone
  • hypECHo- (5254) to hold under, meaning to undergo, experience
  • PHEIdomai (5339) to spare, treat with tenderness or forgiveness
  • DERIV:
  • pheidoMEno-s (5340) sparingly, not plentifully
  • SYN:
  • apECHomai (567) to abstain or refrain
  • ANT:
  • ade-moNEo- (85) to faint, be depressed and almost overwhelmed with sorrow or burden of mind
  • SYN:
  • luPEo- (3076) to grieve (trans.), afflict with sorrow, to be grieved, sad, sorrowful
  • baREomai (916) to be oppressed, burdened, weighed down
  • taRASsomai (5015) to be in trepidation
  • THLIbomai (2346) to be oppressed with evil, afflicted, distressed
  • ochLEomai (3791) to be harrassed, vexed, mobbed
  • enochLEomai (1776) to be excited, disturbed, troubled, annoyed
  • parenochLEomai (3926) to be disturbed with additional disturbance, extra trouble
  • SKYLlo- (4660) to skin, flay, lacerate; to harrass, trouble, weary
  • anastaTOo- (387) to disturb, disquiet, unsettle, to excite, stir up to sedition
  • thoryBEo-, thoryBAzo- (2350) to disturb, throw into a tumult, set in an uproar
  • throEo- (2360) to make a clamor, tumult
  • diapoNEo- (1278) to labor through, produce with labor
  • embriMAomai (1690) to be enraged, indignant, to express indignation against someone, to murmur against, blame, admonish sternly, charge strictly, threaten indignantly for disobedience
  • steNAzo- (4727) to groan, sigh, from distress or affliction; to grumble from impatience, ill-humor
  • ANT:
  • HE-syCHAzo- (2270) to rest from labor, to be quiet, live quietly, to be silent, not speaking, to acquiesce
  • kataSTELlo- (2687) to put or let down, lower; to quell, assuage, pacify, e.g. a crowd
  • anaPAUomai (373) to rest oneself, to take one's rest
  • epanaPAUomai (1879) to rely, rest, repose oneself upon, to rest with the sense of remaining upon
  • eire-NEUo- (1514) to make peace, be at peace, to live in peace, harmony, accord
  • kataPAUo- (2664) to make to cease, to cause to rest, to restrain
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  • Other Ancient Sources

    Sirach 2:10-11 (c.180-175 BC)--Look at the generations of old, and see; did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded? or did any abide in his fear, and was forsaken? or whom did he ever despise, that called upon him?
    For the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, longsuffering, and very pitiful, and forgiveth sins, and saveth in time of affliction.

    Sirach 5:1-4--Set thy heart upon thy goods; and say not, I have enough for my life.
    Follow not thine own mind and thy strength, to walk in the ways of thy heart:
    And say not, Who shall controul me for my works? for the Lord will surely revenge thy pride.
    Say not, I have sinned, and what harm hath happened unto me? for the Lord is longsuffering, he will in no wise let thee go. (KJV)

    Irenaeus (early 2nd century-c.202 AD)--[He commanded them] not only not to injure their neighbors, nor to do them any evil, but also, when they are dealt with wickedly, to be long-suffering.

    Tertullian (c.160-c.225)--Christ plainly teaches a new kind of long-suffering, when He actually prohibits the reprisals that the Creator permitted in requiring "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."

    Tertullian--But after Christ has supervened and has united the grace of faith with patience, now it is no longer lawful to attack others even with words, nor to merely say "fool," without danger of the judgment.

    Lactantius (c.240-c.320)--In what respect, then, does the wise and good man differ from the evil and foolish one? Is it not that he has unconquerable patience, of which the foolish are destitute? Is it not that he knows how to govern himself and to mitigate his anger -- which those are unable to curb because they are without virtue?

    Lactantius--Why do contests, fights, and contentions arise among men? Is it because impatience against injustice often excites great tempests? However, if you meet injustice with patience, then no virtue can be found more true.

    Lactantius--Religion is to be defended -- not by putting to death, but by dying. Not by cruelty, but by patient endurance. Not by guilt, but by good faith.

    Ambrose (c.340-397)--How patient and kind the Lord is; how deep is His wisdom and good His love! For wishing to show that the disciples asked for no slight thing, but one they could not obtain, He reserved His own peculiar rights for His Father’s honour, not fearing to detract aught from His own rights: “Who thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2:6); and loving, too, His disciples (for “He loved them,” as it is written, “unto the end”, John 13:1), He was unwilling to seem to refuse to those whom He loved what they desired; He, I say, the good and holy Lord, Who would rather keep some of His own prerogative secret, than lay aside aught of His love. “For charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not, and seeketh not her own.” (1 Cor. 13:4)

    Chrysostom (c.347-407)--Consider, for example, from what point he at once began, and what he set first, as the cause of all its excellence. And what is this? Long-suffering. This is the root of all self-denial. Wherefore also a certain wise man said, "A man that is long-suffering is of great understanding; but he that is hasty of spirit is mightily foolish."

    And comparing it too with a strong city, he said that it is more secure than that. For it is both an invincible weapon and a sort of impregnable tower, easily beating off all annoyances. And as a spark falling into the deep doth it no injury, but is itself easily quenched: so upon a long-suffering soul whatever unexpected thing falls, this indeed speedily vanishes, but the soul it disturbs not: for of a truth there is nothing so impenetrable as long-suffering. You may talk of armies, money, horses, walls, arms, or any thing else whatsoever; you will name nothing like long-suffering. For he that is encompassed with those, oftentimes, being overcome by anger, is upset like a worthless child, and fills all with confusion and tempest: but this man, settled as it were in a harbor, enjoys a profound calm. Though thou surround him with loss, thou hast not moved the rock; though thou bring insult upon him, thou hast not shaken the tower: and though thou bruise him with stripes, thou hast not wounded the adamant.

    Yea, and therefore is he called long-suffering, because he hath a kind of long and great soul. For that which is long is also called great. But this excellence is born of love, both to them who possess and to them who enjoy it contributing no small advantage. For tell me not of those abandoned wretches, who, doing evil and suffering none, become worse: since here, not from his long-suffering, but from those who abuse it, this result arises. Tell me not therefore of these, but of those gentler persons, who gain great benefit therefrom. For when, having done ill, they suffer none, admiring the meekness of the sufferer, they reap thereby a very great lesson of self command.

    Chrysostom--This is what Paul says (1 Tim. 1:16), that God, willing to give men full assurance that He pardons all their transgressions, chose, as the object of His mercy, him who was more a sinner than any; for when I obtained mercy, he argues, there could be no doubt of others: as familiarly speaking we might say, “If God pardons such an one, he will never punish anybody”; and thus he shows that he himself, though unworthy of pardon, for the sake of others’ salvation, first obtained that pardon. Therefore, he says, since I am saved, let no one doubt of salvation. And observe the humility of this blessed man; he says not, “that in me he might show forth” His “longsuffering,” but “all longsuffering”; as if he had said, greater longsuffering He could not show in any case than in mine, nor find a sinner that so required all His pardon, all His long-suffering; not a part only, like those who are only partially sinners, but “all” His longsuffering.

    Chrysostom--Let us turn [the devil's] weapons then against himself, and having armed and fortified ourselves with the shield of faith, let us keep guard with steadfastness, so as to be impregnable. Now the dart of the devil is evil concupiscence. Anger especially is a fire, a flame; it catches, destroys, consumes; let us quench it, by longsuffering, by forbearance. For as red-hot iron dipped into water, loses its fire, so an angry man filling in with a patient one does no harm to the patient man, but rather benefits him, and is himself more thoroughly subdued.

    For nothing is equal to longsuffering. Such a man is never insulted; but as bodies of adamant are not wounded, so neither are such souls. For they are above the reach of the darts. The longsuffering man is high, and so high as not to receive a wound from the shot. When one is furious, laugh; but do not laugh openly, lest thou irritate him: but laugh mentally on his account. For in the case of children, when they strike us passionately, as though forsooth they were avenging themselves, we laugh. If then thou laugh, there will be as great difference between thee and him, as between a child and a man: but if thou art furious thou hast made thyself a child. For the angry are more senseless than children. If one look at a furious child, does he not laugh at him? “The poor-spirited” (it is said) “is mightily simple.” (Prov. 14:29) The simple then is a child: and “he who is longsuffering” (it is said) “is abundant in wisdom.” This “abundant wisdom” then let us follow after, that we may attain to the good things promised us in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom to the Father together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, honor, now and for ever and world without end. Amen.

    Cassian (c.360-435)--You should therefore not look for patience in your own case from the virtue of others, thinking that then only can you secure it when you are not irritated by any (for it is not in your own power to prevent this from happening); but rather you should look for it as the consequence of your own humility and long-suffering which does depend on your own will.

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