in·​tol·​er·​a·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtäl-rə-bəl How to pronounce intolerable (audio) , -ˈtä-lə-rə-, -ˈtä-lər-bəl \

Definition of intolerable

1 : not tolerable : unbearable intolerable pain
2 : excessive

Other Words from intolerable

intolerability \ (ˌ)in-​ˌtäl-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce intolerable (audio) , -​ˌtä-​lə-​rə-​ , -​ˌtä-​lər-​ \ noun
intolerableness \ (ˌ)in-​ˈtäl-​rə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce intolerable (audio) , -​ˈtä-​lə-​rə-​ , -​ˈtä-​lər-​bəl-​ \ noun
intolerably \ (ˌ)in-​ˈtäl-​rə-​blē How to pronounce intolerable (audio) , -​ˈtä-​lə-​rə-​ , -​ˈtä-​lər-​blē \ adverb

Examples of intolerable in a Sentence

She divorced him on the grounds of intolerable cruelty. this stifling heat is intolerable
Recent Examples on the Web The two staff were both new fathers who were passionate about educating children, the group said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that violence against civilians was intolerable. NBC News, 29 Dec. 2021 For many veterans of the post-9/11 wars, leaving their allies behind is a deep, even intolerable, wound. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, 30 Aug. 2021 Refusing to seat Rep Jim Jordan & Rep Jim Banks on the Select Committee to Investigate Jan 6th is intolerable. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 23 July 2021 In many cases, that means jobs that were once simply thankless are now close to intolerable. Rob Walker, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2021 But for those of us with kids, thinking about the climate crisis is especially intolerable. Emma Pattee, Wired, 30 Oct. 2021 Most intolerable were the photos of her on his phone. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 His father cutting his hair and scrubbing him, his mother dressing and watching him, anyone photographing him—all were ordinary experiences, but to him traumatic and intolerable. Ben Lerner, The New York Review of Books, 25 Feb. 2021 Most vocal about them are the local businesspeople who, like Malibu Kitchen’s Miller, say the situation is intolerable. Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intolerable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intolerable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intolerable

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin intolerabilis, from in- + tolerabilis tolerable

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Time Traveler for intolerable

Time Traveler

The first known use of intolerable was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near intolerable

into force



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Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intolerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of intolerable

: too bad, harsh, or severe to be accepted or tolerated : not tolerable


in·​tol·​er·​a·​ble | \ in-ˈtä-lə-rə-bəl How to pronounce intolerable (audio) \

Kids Definition of intolerable

: unbearable intolerable heat

Other Words from intolerable

intolerably \ -​blē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on intolerable

Nglish: Translation of intolerable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intolerable for Arabic Speakers


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