Like many virtues, patience can be taken to the extreme and become detrimental. Is there such a word for this? Something that would fit in:

He's too extremely patient to ever see that$20.00 that he let his neighbor borrow

The closest I've been able to come up with is "ambivalence", but that does not quite fit. "lazy" also fits, but the motivation is different.

  • Not sure if it quite collocates. but you might be able to say 'too long-suffering to ever expect to see.....
    – Sid
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:10
  • The concept of 'Passivity' comes to mind, with the negative connotation that action should have been taken, but was not. So, "He's too PASSIVE to ever see [...]"
    – Ian
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:43
  • Sounds saintly. Jul 20, 2017 at 19:22
  • Like a doormat, is he?
    – NVZ
    Jul 20, 2017 at 21:31
  • 2
    All words that occur to me - complaisant, forbearing, deferential... require qualification ('too', 'overly'...) to fit your sample sentence, and so become two words.
    – Dan
    Jul 20, 2017 at 23:20

4 Answers 4


If the style of legend and folklore is used, there seems to be a good match for what is being said:

"He has the patience of a wooden sculpture, so he won't see the $20 that his neighbor borrowed from him."

Probably the best is the often used phrase "the patience of Job", which is a biblical reference that is used for one with extreme patience:

"He has the patience of Job, so he won't see the $20 that his neighbor borrowed from him."


Probably derogatory but when used figuratively seems to describe an extreme level of patience that is detrimental.

Doormat -- ODO

(noun) 1.1 a submissive person who allows others to dominate them.
to put up with such treatment you must be either a saint or a doormat

For a non-derogatory word, try saint or saintly person, as shown in the example sentence quoted above.


How about diffident? In other words, reluctant to challenge the neighbor, as opposed to waiting patiently because patience itself is a virtue.

Another possibility is tolerant.

If someone acts in a way that is detrimental to themselves, maybe a hint about the motivation is justified.


While this is not exactly a synonym of "extremely patient", it might fit better in your sentence to use "passive."

"He's too passive to ever see the $20.00 that he let his neighbor borrow."

In this context, passive means that he is unlikely to take any action to ensure that his neighbor repays hime the $20.00 that was borrowed.

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