tol·​er·​a·​ble | \ ˈtä-lə-rə-bəl How to pronounce tolerable (audio) , ˈtäl-rə-; ˈtä-lər-bəl \

Definition of tolerable

1 : capable of being borne or endured tolerable pain
2 : moderately good or agreeable : passable a tolerable singing voice

Other Words from tolerable

tolerability \ ˌtä-​lə-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce tolerable (audio) , ˌtäl-​rə-​ \ noun
tolerably \ ˈtä-​lə-​rə-​blē How to pronounce tolerable (audio) , ˈtäl-​rə-​ ; ˈtä-​lər-​blē \ adverb

Examples of tolerable in a Sentence

The heat was tolerable for only a short time. stubbing your toe is at least a more tolerable pain than breaking your foot
Recent Examples on the Web Sadly, the situation also appears to be stabilizing in ways more tolerable to Ukraine’s Western allies than to Ukraine itself. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 In addition, six human genes were inserted into the genome of the donor pig — modifications designed to make the pig’s organs more tolerable to the human immune system. New York Times, 9 Mar. 2022 Despite its lamentably limited duration, the sunshine helped lift Friday’s high temperature to a more than merely tolerable 66. Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2021 Yet climate scientists say there is little margin for delay if the world wants to hold global warming to relatively tolerable levels. New York Times, 4 Apr. 2022 For some of us, the pandemic is about to enter a more tolerable phase. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 There are some things about this couple that were tolerable in a group, but that have since become frustrating for me. Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2022 But the recent inflation surge has changed that equation and made rate increases more politically tolerable on both sides of the aisle. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 Never mind her whole book about the search for tolerable or even pleasing interpretations of her experience. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 3 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tolerable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tolerable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of tolerable was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tolerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tolerable


tol·​er·​a·​ble | \ ˈtä-lə-rə-bəl How to pronounce tolerable (audio) \

Kids Definition of tolerable

1 : capable of being put up with I still have pain, but it's tolerable.
2 : fairly good tolerable weather

Other Words from tolerable

tolerably \ -​blē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on tolerable

Nglish: Translation of tolerable for Spanish Speakers


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