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

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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 Signs include an abundance of sunshine, budding spring flowers in the parks and temperatures that are tolerable -- requiring only a jacket. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club continues to sow seeds in the community," 22 Mar. 2021 Advances in renal cancer research made the treatment more tolerable and the prognosis very good. Rebecca Sugar, WSJ, "Cancer Is Different the Second Time," 11 Mar. 2021 The pair, winning product or not, would have made the early months of the season, when one braves the wind coming off Flushing Bay, tolerable. Sridhar Pappu, Town & Country, "How Steven Cohen Won the Battle for the New York Mets," 2 Nov. 2020 Vaccines will almost certainly reduce hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, and that could make the pandemic much more tolerable in the coming months, long before it’s technically over. Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, "California may not reach herd immunity for years. But vaccines will make the coronavirus more manageable," 21 Feb. 2021 Restaurants and other venues improvised as the weather got colder—setting up extra heat lamps and the like—to make outdoor dining more tolerable. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Winter Is Good," 4 Jan. 2021 Is some number of cases and deaths tolerable for the sake of reopening? Alex Putterman,, "Gov. Ned Lamont has begun rolling back some COVID-19 restrictions in Connecticut. Health experts aren’t sure it’s time.," 18 Feb. 2021 So, despite the limitations, stars in a variety of disciplines managed to thrive and shine, and by doing so, made a difficult year more tolerable for most everyone. New York Times, "The Breakout Stars of 2020," 23 Dec. 2020 Highs in the low to mid-50s would be a lot more tolerable if south winds were not quite so brisk (10 to 20 mph). Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Cool sunshine today, but it turns milder Friday and Saturday," 19 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of tolerable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for tolerable

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

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Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tolerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for tolerable



English Language Learners Definition of tolerable

: unpleasant but able to be accepted or tolerated
: good enough to be accepted but not very good


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tolerable

Nglish: Translation of tolerable for Spanish Speakers

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