Treatment failure in biofilm-associated bacterial infections is an important healthcare issue. In vitro studies and mouse models suggest that bacteria enter a slow-growing/non-growing state that results in transient tolerance to antibiotics in the absence of a specific resistance mechanism. However, little clinical confirmation of antibiotic tolerant bacteria in patients exists. In this study we investigate a Staphylococcus epidermidis pacemaker-associated endocarditis, in a patient who developed a break-through bacteremia despite taking antibiotics to which the S. epidermidis isolate is fully susceptible in vitro. Characterization of the clinical S. epidermidis isolates reveals in-host evolution over the 16-week infection period, resulting in increased antibiotic tolerance of the entire population due to a prolonged lag time until growth resumption and a reduced growth rate. Furthermore, we observe adaptation towards an increased biofilm formation capacity and genetic diversification of the S. epidermidis isolates within the patient.