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

Examples of intolerance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Critics say the seizures show a desire to suppress critical thinking and a growing intolerance of opinions contrary to conservative Islamic beliefs and cultural norms. New York Times, 16 July 2021 The protests are a rare defiance of the Communist government's intolerance for dissent. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, 15 July 2021 The proposal comes amid concern over growing intolerance toward the LGBTQ community in Malaysia in recent years. Aj Willingham, CNN, 25 June 2021 The blowback on Mori suggests a growing intolerance for outright sexism, said Kanae Doi, director at the Japan office of Human Rights Watch. Isabel Reynolds,, 12 Feb. 2021 Thus intolerance leads not to progress, but stagnation. Wsj Books Staff, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2021 Compassion and caring appear to be seen as weaknesses in today's GOP, while intolerance is too often given a pass. Dean Obeidallah, CNN, 5 Dec. 2021 Local interfaith coalitions have worked together for years to combat societal challenges related to homelessness, immigration, health care, human rights and religious intolerance, among other issues. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug. 2021 Those with a true allium allergy, which is much rarer than an intolerance such as Wilson’s, should not use this strategy. Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of intolerance

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About intolerance

Time Traveler for intolerance

Time Traveler

The first known use of intolerance was in 1765

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near intolerance




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for intolerance

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intolerance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on intolerance

Nglish: Translation of intolerance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intolerance for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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