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

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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 This is subtler anti-Semitism, teaching us to tolerate the intolerable. Gil Troy, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2021 But as those anxious audiences at Nelson’s readings indicate, instability can elicit deep discomfort, a feeling many people find intolerable. New York Times, 2 Sep. 2021 For a while, there were even popular movements demonstrating that those things were intolerable to the people who lived under them. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 My thoughts are that until Eve is angry enough to assert herself and tell her husband the current living conditions are intolerable, nothing will change. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 26 Aug. 2021 The requirement could make the heat even more intolerable for children., 5 July 2021 An escape into apathy and false security was as intolerable to him as terror is to most people. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 The whole intolerable spectacle — an ironic, spiritually deflating take on the sublimity of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel — is complemented by booming audio. Washington Post, 31 July 2021 Wind chill makes the frigid air even more intolerable. Star Tribune, 30 July 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

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intolerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for intolerable



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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