tolerance

noun
tol·​er·​ance | \ ˈtä-lə-rən(t)s, 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

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 In another food challenge, the researchers tested just how high the participants’ tolerance had gotten. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Some promising news for kids with peanut allergies," 23 Nov. 2018 Others hope hosting the World Cup will open minds and encourage more tolerance among the conservative populace. NBC News, "On stage, Russian drag stars leave fears behind," 10 July 2018 The third is tolerance of and willingness to make alterations or purchases to accommodate the addiction. Vivek Wadhwa And Alex Salkever, WIRED, "How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?," 26 June 2018 Republicans on that panel batted down Democratic proposals that undercut the administration's zero tolerance policy of prosecuting and detaining migrants caught entering the U.S. illegally. CBS News, "Push by liberal Democrats’ to abolish ICE delights GOP," 13 July 2018 California was forced to begin these mass hearings after the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy ballooned the number of prosecutions in recent months, stretching resources, the AP reports. Renae Reints, Fortune, "California Adopts Mass Immigration Hearings to Handle Influx of Prosecutions After Zero Tolerance Policy," 8 July 2018 Under the zero tolerance policy's initial implementation, when the government detained a family for crossing the border illegally, at first everyone was in the hands of Customs and Border Patrol, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "'ICE Is Everywhere': Using Library Science to Map the Separation Crisis," 25 June 2018

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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Learn More about tolerance

Dictionary Entries near tolerance

Toledo

tolerable

tolerableness

tolerance

tolerant

tolerate

toleration

Statistics for tolerance

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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 \

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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