What Does Patience is a Virtue Mean?

Patience is a Virtue Meaning

Definition: The ability to wait for something without frustration is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality.

Origin of Patience is a Virtue

The idea behind this expression goes as far back as the fifth century, to the epic poem Psychomachia. This poem serves to highlight Christian ideals and describes vices and virtues as people fighting one another.

In the poem, Patience is one of the virtues, which is fighting Anger.

The first time the expression appeared in English was in a poem called Piers Plowman, written by William Langland, around the year 1360.

Examples of Patience is a Virtue

patience is virtue meaningThe dialogue below shows two women discussing the Christmas dinner they are preparing.

Mila: Okay! We’re halfway through.

Betty: We’re only halfway through? This meal takes way too long to prepare. I don’t know why we volunteer to make it every year. We should make someone else make it.

Mila: No one else can make it as well as we can. Come on. It’s fun!

Betty: It’s not fun, and I hate all the time and effort it takes. I’m quitting. You’ll have to do the rest by yourself.

Mila: Try to be more patient. Patience is a virtue.

Betty: I guess you’re right. It will be worth it once we can eat it. It is always delicious.

Mila: Exactly!

meaning patience is a virtueThis dialogue shows a couple of roommates arguing about the amount of time it is taking the technician to fix the air conditioning.

John: It’s so hot in here! I feel like I’m dying.

Amanda: Yeah, it is certainly sweltering.

John: What is taking that repairman this long? I’m going to go yell at him to hurry up!

Amanda: Don’t do that! That won’t make him go any faster. In fact, he might take longer if you’re a jerk. Remember, patience is a virtue. Nothing will get done faster if you are impatient. The only thing that will happen is that you will feel angrier.

John: Okay, I’ll try my best.

More Examples

This excerpt is a quote from a man who killed his wife. He is now trying to meet new women online.

  • “Being in jail sucks, but I’m an innocent man and I’m working on my appeal. Patience is a virtue, and I’ve learned a lot of it here. For now, I just want to find an interesting girl to share experiences with,” he wrote in the post. –New York Post

The second excerpt is about boxing and the importance of patience while training.

  • “Patience is a virtue,” he said. “They taught me patience in prison.”
  • This is why Lyle doesn’t look at boxing as a way to get rich. It’s a way to find a new path or, in his case, save his life. The Whittier neighborhood outside these walls has nice houses and clean streets. It wouldn’t look out of place in Thornton. –Denver Post


The proverb patience is a virtue means that it is a good quality to be able to tolerate something that takes a long time.