MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Why do we say "Patience is a virtue"?

Well-Known Expressions

Patience is a virtue

Meaning:

To be able to wait for something without becoming frustrated is a valuable character trait.

Background:

The first known recording of this expression is in Piers Plowman, a narrative poem believed to have been written by William Langland between 1360 and 1387. It is similar to the Latin expression, maxima enim, patientia virtus (patience is the greatest virtue).

Around the same time or shortly after Piers Plowman, Chaucer wrote in The Canterbury Tales that "Patience is a high virtue... but virtue can hurt you." (The Franklin's Tale)

Alphabetical list of expressions

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