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.