Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Unable to wait patiently or tolerate delay; restless.
  • adjective Unable to endure irritation or opposition; intolerant.
  • adjective Expressing or produced by impatience.
  • adjective Restively eager or desirous; anxious.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not patient; not bearing or enduring with composure or patience; uneasy under existing conditions, and eager for relief or change; excited by opposition or the thwarting of one's desires; quick-tempered.
  • Intolerant; non-endurant; resistant: as, impatient of control.
  • Prompted by or springing from impatience; exhibiting or expressing impatience: as, an impatient manner.
  • Not to be borne; intolerable.
  • Synonyms and Restless, unquiet, hasty, eager, precipitate, impetuous, vehement.
  • noun One who lacks patience.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not patient; not bearing with composure; intolerant; uneasy; fretful; restless, because of pain, delay, or opposition; eager for change, or for something expected; hasty; passionate; -- often followed by at, for, of, and under.
  • adjective obsolete Not to be borne; unendurable.
  • adjective Prompted by, or exhibiting, impatience.
  • noun rare One who is impatient.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective restless and intolerant of delays
  • adjective anxious and eager, especially to begin something

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective (usually followed by `to') full of eagerness
  • adjective restless or short-tempered under delay or opposition

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English impacient, from Old French impatient, from Latin impatiēns, impatient- : in-, not; see in– + patiēns, present participle of patī, to suffer, endure; see patient.]

Examples

  • Coming slowly on through the forests of masts was a great steamship, beating the water in short impatient strokes with her heavy paddles as though she wanted room to breathe, and advancing in her huge bulk like a sea monster among the minnows of the Thames.

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • Indeed by this time the whole party were gathered, and in impatient expectation that the dinner would make up to them in some degree for the various disappointments of the morning.

    Melbourne House

  • With his head to one side, and smoking his cigar in short, impatient draughts, he listened.

    The Trial

  • But the next minute, the little creature whimpering, she bent down in impatient repentance and kissed it, whimpering too.

    That Lass o' Lowrie's: A Lancashire Story

  • I know you too well; but I want to hear what you have been doing -- what he said, 'answered Charles, in short, impatient sentences.

    The Heir of Redclyffe

  • Coming slowly on through the forests of masts was a great steamship, beating the water in short impatient strokes with her heavy paddles as though she wanted room to breathe, and advancing in her huge bulk like a sea monster among the minnows of the Thames.

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • Coming slowly on through the forests of masts was a great steamship, beating the water in short impatient strokes with her heavy paddles as though she wanted room to breathe, and advancing in her huge bulk like a sea monster among the minnows of the Thames.

    Old Curiosity Shop

  • Thus earnestly does a gracious soul desire communion with God, thus impatient is it in the want of that communion, so impossible does it find it to be satisfied with any thing short of that communion, and so insatiable is it in taking the pleasures of that communion when the opportunity of it returns, still thirsting after the full enjoyment of him in the heavenly kingdom.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

  • Those that get impatient from the long wait simply pin a note to the front of children’s pockets and leave them in line alone.

    Safe Haven | Heretical Ideas Magazine

  • I'm also terribly impatient, which is not a good mindset for an editor.

    This much I know: David Remnick

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