in·​tol·​er·​ant | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtäl-rənt How to pronounce intolerant (audio) , -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



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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 Faye is lactose intolerant and has a speech impediment, the department said. Amanda Watts, CNN, "Investigators looking for 2 vehicles in search for missing 6-year-old girl last seen playing in front yard," 13 Feb. 2020 More: Cockroach crawled inside sleeping woman's ear, tormenting her for nine days Ashley May is a lactose-intolerant writer who will stick to soy milk over bug varieties. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Cockroach milk researcher: It's healthy, but I wouldn't drink it," 31 May 2018 If these siblings are intolerant of people of other faiths, that is not an attitude consistent with Church teachings, as certainly our Pope Francis has made clear. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Resources for those with OCD focused on religion," 18 Apr. 2020 This single discarded piece of ancient chewing gum tells us that the ancient woman, who Schroeder and his colleagues have nicknamed Lola, was probably lactose intolerant, ate duck and hazelnuts, and may recently have had pneumonia. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient “chewing gum” contains a 5,700-year-old genome," 13 Feb. 2020 But their fates at the hands of intolerant societies were painfully similar. David Lyman,, "Emmett Till and Anne Frank meet as decades collide on stage at Freedom Center," 21 Feb. 2020 Despite her intolerant views, Australian tennis officials continue to embrace Court — albeit with icy unease. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "The Australian Open’s Icy Embrace of Margaret Court," 31 Jan. 2020 Yeah, the '70s had a deeply intolerant, downright scary side, much like today. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "'Joker' doesn't deserve best picture Oscar, but it's a sympton of what ails 2020 America," 26 Jan. 2020 Carol is a tale of love between two women fighting to exist together in an intolerant world; what sustains them is the indelible connection Haynes dramatizes here. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Movie Scenes of the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for intolerant

Time Traveler

The first known use of intolerant was circa 1735

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Statistics for intolerant

Last Updated

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intolerant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce intolerant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intolerant

: not willing to allow or accept something
disapproving : 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 How to pronounce intolerant (audio) \

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

Nglish: Translation of intolerant for Spanish Speakers

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