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c.1200, "quality of being patient in suffering," from Old French pacience "patience; sufferance, permission" (12c.) and directly from Latin patientia "patience, endurance, submission; quality of suffering," from patientem (nominative patiens), present participle of pati "to suffer, endure," from PIE root *pe(i)- "to damage, injure, hurt" (see passion).
Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]Meaning "constancy in effort" is attested from 1510s. Meaning "card game for one person" is from 1816.
family of card games played by one person. Solitaire was originally called (in various spellings) either patience, as it still is in England, Poland, and Germany, or cabale, as it still is in Scandinavian countries.