WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
im•pa•tiens  (im pāshənz),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -tiens. 
  1. Plant Biologyany of numerous plants belonging to the genus Impatiens, of the balsam family, having irregular flowers in which the calyx and corolla are not clearly distinguishable and bearing fruit that bursts open to scatter the seeds.
  • Neo-Latin, Latin impatiēns not enduring, not tolerating (see impatient); alluding to the plant's quick release of seeds upon slight contact; compare the familiar name touch-me-not
  • 1880–85


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

impatiens /ɪmˈpeɪʃɪˌɛnz/ n ( pl -ens)
  1. any balsaminaceous plant of the genus Impatiens, such as balsam, touch-me-not, busy Lizzie, and policeman's helmet
Etymology: 18th Century: New Latin from Latin: impatient; from the fact that the ripe pods burst open when touched



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