tolerance

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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
2 a :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
4 a (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

Examples of tolerance in a Sentence

  1. a tolerance for other lifestyles

  2. The plants have a high tolerance for heat.

  3. Some patients gradually develop a tolerance for the drug and need to be given a larger dose.

  4. Some patients develop greater tolerance for the drug's effects.

Recent Examples of tolerance from the Web

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.

First Known Use of tolerance

15th century



TOLERANCE Defined for English Language Learners

tolerance

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noun

Definition of tolerance for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

tolerance

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noun tol·er·ance \ ˈtä-lə-rəns \

Definition of tolerance for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

tolerance

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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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