Difference Between Patience and Perseverance

Key Difference – Patience vs Perseverance

Patience and Perseverance are two qualities that are very much linked together although there is a difference between the two words. Patience suggests tolerance or endurance of difficult situations. On the other hand, perseverance suggests determination where an individual strives to achieve his target. In this sense, the key difference between patience and perseverance stem from the fact that while perseverance indicates an action, patience does not. Through this article let us examine the further difference between patience and perseverance.

What is Patience?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, patience can be understood as the ability to accept delay or trouble calmly. It highlights tolerance. Being patient is when the individual is tolerant and endures pain, suffering, misfortune and other difficult situations. Being patient is often considered a good quality. Most believe that it is those who are patient that reap the best benefits.

Patient is the adjective while patiently is the adverb of patience. Let us look at some examples.


In difficult times like these, patience is not merely sufficient but mandatory.

Patience is an admirable virtue.


You were very patient when you spoke to her.

You have to be patient when you teach children.


I waited patiently till they answered the question.

She waited patiently till he came to meet her.

Difference Between Patience and Perseverance

What is Perseverance?

Perseverance refers to continuing in spite of difficulty and lack of success. This highlights that even in the face of repeated failure the individual still continues in his course of action. A perseverant individual is determined to achieve his goals in spite of all the difficulties that he encounters on his journey to success. Within the journey, there can be instances where patience is required but this does not mean that the individual strays from his course of action. It is only a temporary state where the individual endures the difficult situation.

When a person is perseverant, it is often difficult to discourage him. This is because he never gives up his goals and continues to achieve them. Now let us observe some examples of the usage of this word in sentences.

As he continued his journey, everyone was amazed at his perseverance.

She will finally reap the benefits of all her perseverant endeavors.

Of the two examples, notice how it has been used as a noun in the first example. Here it highlights a quality of a person. However, in the second example, it has been used as an adjective to explain the nature of her attempts.

Key Difference - Patience vs Perseverance

What is the difference between Patience and Perseverance?

Definitions of Patience and Perseverance:

Patience: Patience can be understood as the ability to accept delay or trouble calmly

Perseverance: Perseverance refers to continuing in spite of difficulty and lack of success.

Characteristics of Patience and Perseverance:


Patience: This is a form of tolerance or acceptance.

Perseverance: Perseverance suggests overcoming the challenges instead of mere tolerance.


Patience: Patience usually does not suggest acting against the opposing forces.

Perseverance: Perseverance suggests acting against opposing forces.

Image Courtesy:
1. “Three virtues Patientia” by Jan Saenredam after Hendrik Goltzius – British Museum.. [Public Domain] via Commons
2. With a drive to win, you try harder 150328-A-XX000-001 By Ronald Wolf  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons