in·​tol·​er·​ance | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtäl-rən(t)s How to pronounce intolerance (audio) , -ˈtä-lə- \

Definition of intolerance

1 : the quality or state of being intolerant
2 : exceptional sensitivity (as to a drug) specifically : inability to properly metabolize or absorb a substance

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Examples of intolerance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What’s healthy for pregnant people or athletes or people with diabetes or lactose intolerance—that all might vary from person to person. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "Our Definition of Wellness Is Way Too Narrow. It’s Time to Change That.," 5 Jan. 2021 Instead of showing empathy, her fellow sewers largely disregarded her own experiences facing intolerance and prejudice. Megan Embrey, House Beautiful, "The Social Justice Sewing Academy Fosters Dialogue Through Quilting," 16 Dec. 2020 While billed as a welcoming place, multiple Black residents have asked — welcoming to who — and shared experiences of intolerance and inequities in schools. Mj Slaby, The Indianapolis Star, "'Outward display of awareness': Carmel Clay and HSE schools are hiring diversity leaders," 12 Mar. 2020 Everyone knows the hardest part about eating fewer animal products (or avoiding dairy due to an allergy or intolerance) is the lack of cheese. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "This Vegan Parmesan Cheese Tastes Freakishly Like the Real Thing," 22 Dec. 2020 Tsegaye, a native Washingtonian and Ethiopian American, developed a gluten intolerance while working for a nongovernmental organization in the Netherlands in 2013. Washington Post, "The pandemic has made sourdough trendy. Is this Ethiopian grain next?," 7 Dec. 2020 After the shooting, Molson Coors representatives said every complaint of harassment or intolerance is investigated, managers have all-plant meetings and create other spaces for diversity and inclusion conversations. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A gun collector’s paranoia, a wrong suspect and the role of racism. What the Molson Coors mass shooting records reveal," 26 Nov. 2020 In 2015, Hindu right-wing supporters attacked e-commerce firm Snapdeal after its then brand ambassador and Bollywood actor Amir Khan called out the growing religious intolerance in the country. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Tanishq is only the latest brand to face the ire of India’s easily offended right wing," 14 Oct. 2020 As voices of intolerance once again grow more shrill and confident, such tangible efforts are needed just as much as Dahl’s delightfully wicked stories. Washington Post, "Roald Dahl was anti-Semitic. Do we need his family’s apology now?," 7 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intolerance.' 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 intolerance

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for intolerance

Time Traveler

The first known use of intolerance was in 1765

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Statistics for intolerance

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intolerance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for intolerance


in·​tol·​er·​ance | \ in-ˈtä-lə-rəns How to pronounce intolerance (audio) \

Kids Definition of intolerance

1 : the quality or state of being unable or unwilling to put up with an intolerance to bright light
2 : a reluctance to grant rights to other people religious intolerance


in·​tol·​er·​ance | \ (ˈ)in-ˈtäl(-ə)-rən(t)s How to pronounce intolerance (audio) \

Medical Definition of intolerance

1 : lack of an ability to endure an intolerance to light
2 : exceptional sensitivity (as to a food or drug) specifically : inability to properly metabolize or absorb a substance glucose intolerance

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