tolerance

noun
tol·​er·​ance | \ ˈtä-lə-rən(t)s How to pronounce tolerance (audio) , ˈtäl-rən(t)s\

Definition of tolerance

1 : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina
2a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own
b : the act of allowing something : toleration
3 : the allowable deviation from a standard especially : the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece
4a(1) : the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (such as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure developed a tolerance to painkillers also : the immunological state marked by unresponsiveness to a specific antigen
(2) : relative capacity of an organism to grow or thrive when subjected to an unfavorable environmental factor
b : the maximum amount of a pesticide residue that may lawfully remain on or in food

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Synonyms & Antonyms for tolerance

Synonyms

forbearance, long-suffering, patience, sufferance

Antonyms

impatience

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Examples of tolerance in a Sentence

a tolerance for other lifestyles The plants have a high tolerance for heat. Some patients gradually develop a tolerance for the drug and need to be given a larger dose. Some patients develop greater tolerance for the drug's effects.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Most of those children came without older relatives, but about 70 were separated from their parents as a part of the zero tolerance policy, according to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s office. Skyler Swisher, Sun-Sentinel.com, "At Guatemalan-Maya Center, fear grips South Florida undocumented immigrants," 9 July 2018 Sessions’ words sparked a backlash from Christian leaders, who said the zero tolerance policy conflicted with their commitment to family values. David Yaffe-bellany, star-telegram, "Next to shelter, church's congregation defends family separations," 3 July 2018 The higher the dollar amount the less tolerance there is for bad stretches or off nights. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Devin Booker appreciative of new deal, excited about Suns' changes," 9 July 2018 Curiously, however, Trump’s tolerance for risk has always been matched by careful control over information. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 Missile defense is a difficult problem with a low tolerance for failure. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Wars' Lite? We Explain Trump's Missile Defense Strategy," 17 Jan. 2019 Then there’s these guys over here, which are very similar to the US government in terms of their risk tolerance. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Getting Vulcan up to speed: Part one of our interview with Tory Bruno," 11 Dec. 2018 That's your body building up a tolerance, one component of dependence. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Bella Hadid’s New Year’s Resolution Is to Give Up Her JUUL: 'So Far So Good!'," 8 Jan. 2019 Another is avoiding drinking water before and during a flight—a method which can cause headaches and stress and lowers the body’s tolerance to high g-forces. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "New Device Helps Fighter Pilots Pee at 30,000 Feet," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tolerance.' 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 tolerance

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near tolerance

Toledo

tolerable

tolerableness

tolerance

tolerant

tolerate

toleration

Statistics for tolerance

Last Updated

24 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for tolerance

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

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More Definitions for tolerance

tolerance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tolerance

: willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own
: the ability to accept, experience, or survive something harmful or unpleasant
medical : your body's ability to become adjusted to something (such as a drug) so that its effects are experienced less strongly

tolerance

noun
tol·​er·​ance | \ ˈtä-lə-rəns How to pronounce tolerance (audio) \

Kids Definition of tolerance

1 : ability to put up with something harmful, bad, or annoying He was running out of tolerance for the pushy young cop.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
2 : sympathy for or acceptance of feelings or habits which are different from someone's own

tolerance

noun
tol·​er·​ance | \ ˈtäl(-ə)-rən(t)s How to pronounce tolerance (audio) \

Medical Definition of tolerance

1 : the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure developed a tolerance to painkillers
2 : the immunological state marked by unresponsiveness to a specific antigen

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Comments on tolerance

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