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 Simply having homeless people on the block trying to snatch a night’s sleep was tolerable, some residents told The Chronicle. Jason W. Lloren,, "Bay Briefing: One shuttered restaurant’s trail of questions, debts," 7 Oct. 2019 And his passing numbers became tolerable after the arrival of Amari Cooper. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Preview: Our Favorites," 9 Aug. 2019 What looks tolerable and fine enough on a console, locked to 30fps, comes off a bit last-gen when the camera sway and particles run at higher speeds. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC: More frames, more volumetric beauty, no Steam," 5 Nov. 2019 Burkean conservatism tends to be as suspicious of reactionary change as of other sorts; tolerable in small measure, dangerous at the radical extreme. The Economist, "Conservatism is fighting for its life against reactionary nationalism," 4 July 2019 Behind the front, humidity levels will be a lot more tolerable with afternoon highs down to the upper 80s Tuesday and Wednesday. Dallas News, "NBC 5 Forecast: Toasty next few days ahead of a cold front," 21 July 2019 Virgin Orbit is dropping rockets out of a Boeing 747, Nintendo is switching up the Switch, and a new design could make the middle plane seat tolerable. Alex Baker-whitcomb, WIRED, "A Rocket-Launching Plane, Nintendo's New Switch, and More News," 10 July 2019 From lining the playroom with an old shower curtain so your child can finger paint with abandon to letting him co-opt all the pillows in the house to build a killer fort, figure out ways to make your child's creative chaos tolerable for you. Tehrene Firman, Redbook, "7 Ways You Can Teach Your Kid to Spend Time Alone Without Throwing a Tablet in Their Face," 29 Sep. 2017 So Van Alen launched Sleepyhead in March 2018, with the goal of making icky dorm room bedding a little more tolerable and hygienic. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, "Dorm mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable. His startup aims to change that," 12 Sep. 2019

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

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Tolerable.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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

Comments on tolerable

What made you want to look up tolerable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period of high artistic development

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