in·​tol·​er·​ance | \(ˌ)in-ˈtäl-rən(t)s, -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

As a mother of two boys (one with severe allergies and one with several food intolerances), Becky Basalone of Tennessee came up with this brilliant way to make Halloween safer for all, but especially those with allergies. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "What You Should Know Before Buying A Teal Pumpkin This Halloween," 25 Sep. 2018 That's exactly why the story is important, because Alan Dershowitz struggles in his socialist struggling in the enclave of liberal elitism actually says something about the state of where liberal elites are, and that there is this intolerance. Fox News, "Media's Supreme Court scrutiny," 9 July 2018 Yep, there was lactose intolerance back in the very old days. Caron Golden,, "Yogurt: Purely homemade," 25 June 2018 During fermentation, bacteria break down milk sugars including lactase, turning them into acids and easing digestion for those with lactose intolerance. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "How Cheese, Wheat and Alcohol Shaped Human Evolution," 7 May 2016 Fear arising from intolerance and injustice constitutes the chief danger to our country. Frank Miles, Fox News, "'God Bless America': July 4 is 100th birthday of unofficial anthem, penned by immigrant Irving Berlin," 4 July 2018 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office formed the LGBT Memorial Commission in June 2016 and called for requests for proposals to remember the victims of hate and intolerance and to honor the fight for equality. Cristela Guerra,, "Hyde Park art studio helps new NYC memorial reflect light and pride," 26 June 2018 Police departments cannot contend with an upswing in calls prompted by hate and intolerance. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Riley: Calling cops on people because of race should be a crime," 5 May 2018 In each case, social intolerance correlates with authoritarian preferences. Nicholas T. Davis And Steven Miller, Vox, "Racism and authoritarianism go hand in hand," 2 July 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for intolerance

The first known use of intolerance was in 1765

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More Definitions for intolerance


in·​tol·​er·​ance | \in-ˈtä-lə-rəns \

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 \

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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