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 tolerability (audio) , ˌtäl-​rə-​ \ noun
tolerably \ ˈtä-​lə-​rə-​blē How to pronounce tolerably (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 But on the whole, those performances were largely tolerable for the Kings’ new coach. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Kings coach has an ominous message for his players after blowout loss to Canucks," 10 Oct. 2019 Indispensability imposed obligations, which for the moment at least seemed tolerable. Andrew J. Bacevich, Harper's magazine, "The Old Normal," 2 Mar. 2020 The spitter has been seen as a tolerable and minor form of cheating. Fay Vincent, WSJ, "Is Baseball Turning Into Pro Wrestling?," 26 Jan. 2020 Leverage would be three times Ebitda under the current structure; something closer to four times seems tolerable. Chris Hughes | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "The Cable Cowboy Sparks a War in Switzerland," 22 Aug. 2019 Evidence suggests Mars was once habitable for microbial life, with the proper chemicals, tolerable temperatures, and water likely present and stable for millions of years. Brad King, WSJ, "Earth to Billionaires: Finding Life Is Space’s Final Frontier," 7 Feb. 2020 There only appear to be quality wins and tolerable losses left. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IU's road performance at Nebraska evidence of a team growing, moving forward," 19 Jan. 2020 Human activity has already warmed the planet by about 1 degree Celsius, and fulfilling only the Paris commitments is likely to result in a temperature increase of 3 degrees — far beyond what scientists consider tolerable to humanity. Tony Barboza,, "Q&A: What is the UN climate change summit?," 23 Sep. 2019 The risks are tolerable: your chances of being fired or retiring in any year are about 10%. The Economist, "Meet the new boss What it takes to be a CEO in the 2020s," 6 Feb. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tolerable

Last Updated

5 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tolerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for tolerable


How to pronounce tolerable (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tolerable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tolerable

Spanish Central: Translation of tolerable

Nglish: Translation of tolerable for Spanish Speakers

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