in·​tol·​er·​ant | \(ˌ)in-ˈtäl-rənt, -ˈtä-lə-\

Definition of intolerant 

1 : unable or unwilling to endure

2a : unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters

b : unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : bigoted

3 : exhibiting physiological intolerance lactose intolerant

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Other Words from intolerant

intolerantly adverb
intolerantness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for intolerant




abiding, enduring, forbearing, patient, tolerant

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Examples of intolerant in a Sentence

intolerant of fools, she is not an easy person to work for intolerant people who callously deny others the very rights that they take for granted

Recent Examples on the Web

For the lactose-intolerant or merely dairy-averse, there are more alternatives to good ol’ American cow’s milk than ever. Bonnie Wertheim, New York Times, "The Humble Ascent of Oat Milk," 19 Jan. 2018 The regime runs political prisons, has been accused of mistreating the disabled, and is intolerant of religious freedom. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "North Korea’s Olympic Dream Faces Plenty of Hurdles," 19 Sep. 2018 With the upcoming Disney merger, Fox — and Deadpool — are about to be under new management that is infamously intolerant of racy content that could damage or tarnish the House of Mouse’s squeaky-clean, family-friendly brand. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Deadpool 2 returns to theaters as PG-13 Christmas film Once Upon a Deadpool," 5 Nov. 2018 Kidman plays his torn mother; Russell Crowe plays his intolerant father. Brooke Hauser, Marie Claire, "Nicole Kidman Makes Her Mark," 17 Sep. 2018 Despite that act of good faith, South Sudan’s political environment has become increasingly intolerant and any criticism of the government can lead to intimidation and detention, the new report says. Sam Mednick, The Seattle Times, "South Sudan accused of killings, torture, squalor in jails," 4 Sep. 2018 At the time, Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called the correspondence bigoted and intolerant. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Biedermann ‘reports to Empower Texans,’ foe says," 21 Feb. 2018 Although their ways are harsh and intolerant, a semblance of order returns. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "War Brought Cricket to Afghanistan," 13 June 2018 Critics have reacted with alarm to Erdogan’s victory, saying the results usher in what will effectively be one-man rule, putting someone with increasingly autocratic and intolerant tendencies at the helm of a strategically significant NATO country. Elena Becatoros, The Seattle Times, "What’s next for Turkey after vote grants Erdogan vast powers," 25 June 2018

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

circa 1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for intolerant

The first known use of intolerant was circa 1735

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English Language Learners Definition of intolerant

: not willing to allow or accept something

: not willing to allow some people to have equality, freedom, or other social rights

medicine : unable to take a certain substance into the body without becoming sick


in·​tol·​er·​ant | \in-ˈtä-lə-rənt \

Kids Definition of intolerant

1 : not able or willing to put up with She was intolerant of failure.

2 : not willing to grant rights to some people an intolerant government


in·​tol·​er·​ant | \(ˈ)in-ˈtäl(-ə)-rənt\

Medical Definition of intolerant 

: exhibiting physiological intolerance : unable to properly metabolize or absorb a substance People who are lactose intolerant cannot digest lactose because their small intestines do not produce enough lactase, the enzyme that breaks lactose down …— Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue, March 1997

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Spanish Central: Translation of intolerant

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