in·​tol·​er·​a·​ble (ˌ)in-ˈtä-lə-rə-bəl How to pronounce intolerable (audio)
: not tolerable : unbearable
intolerable pain
(ˌ)in-ˌtä-lə-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce intolerable (audio)
(ˌ)in-ˈtä-lə-rə-bəl-nəs How to pronounce intolerable (audio)
(ˌ)in-ˈtä-lə-rə-blē How to pronounce intolerable (audio)

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 Tricks and treats for the entertainment of small children are all well and good, but for Poirot, the notion of actual occult phenomena is as intolerable as an asymmetrical breakfast spread or an unkempt mustache. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Leaving aside the fact that these are human beings subjected to intolerable and cruel conditions, heat is very dangerous for everybody in a prison. Globe Columnist,, 19 Aug. 2023 Residents are grateful for a roof over their heads and a place to call their own, but living conditions are becoming intolerable. Jaimie Ding, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 Some analysts believe that Azerbaijan, wealthier and reinforced by Turkish and Israeli arms, is pressing its considerable advantage with the world distracted by the war in Ukraine to apply intolerable pressure on the separatist enclave in its midst. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2023 Russian President Vladimir Putin mocked President Joe Biden last year for blaming inflation on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the ruble's depreciation proved intolerable for the image-conscious Kremlin. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 15 Aug. 2023 Meanwhile, residents near the facility at Indian Trail and Orchard Road continue to say the operations there make life intolerable for them. Steve Lord, Chicago Tribune, 25 July 2023 His killing, its countless precedents, the ongoing disaster — all are intolerable in a sane society. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 21 July 2023 For Uber Eats, Glovo’s competitive edge was intolerable. Ben Wray, WIRED, 20 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intolerable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near intolerable

Cite this Entry

“Intolerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​tol·​er·​a·​ble (ˈ)in-ˈtäl-(ə-)rə-bəl How to pronounce intolerable (audio)
: not tolerable : unbearable
intolerable pain
intolerably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on intolerable

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!