tol·​er·​ant | \ˈtä-lə-rənt, ˈtäl-rənt\

Definition of tolerant 

1 : inclined to tolerate especially : marked by forbearance or endurance tolerant parents a culture tolerant of religious differences

2 : exhibiting tolerance (as for a drug or an environmental factor)

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Other Words from tolerant

tolerantly adverb

Examples of tolerant in a Sentence

this job requires a tolerant person who is used to dealing with complaints and angry customers a tolerant acceptance of the terrible way that his wife has always treated him

Recent Examples on the Web

President Obama brought hope of a more tolerant, less deeply partisan politics. Ted Van Dyk, WSJ, "Democrats Haven’t Turned Back From 1968," 18 Oct. 2018 Maybe there are parts of our society that never truly will become tolerant, which will remain resistant to change. Leah Winters, Teen Vogue, "I Am a Bisexual Teen Volunteer for an LGBTQ Candidate and I’m Frustrated With How We’re Both Treated," 5 Oct. 2018 Down the road, CRISPR might help us develop drought-tolerant crops and create powerful new antibiotics. Brad Plumer, Vox, "A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade," 23 July 2018 People who register for the four series classes in the series must commit to having their own yards re-landscaped with drought-tolerant landscaping with coaching from a landscape professional. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "WaterSmart landscaping class set for Saturday," 12 Apr. 2018 Either way, the immune system tends to be highly tolerant of the abnormalities because tumors arise from the body’s own tissues, unlike infections, which are caused by outside invaders. Marie Mccullough,, "Cracking the cancer code: Can immune therapy treat tumors?," 5 Apr. 2018 In addition to producing an attractive plant loaded with orange blooms, Mexican honeysuckle is drought tolerant and not eaten by the deer. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "The plants that will attract fall hummingbirds, butterflies," 13 July 2018 In the United States, most voters are growing more tolerant of immigration, but a committed minority is increasingly demanding limits on immigration in all forms. New York Times, "In U.S. and Europe, Migration Conflict Points to Deeper Political Problems," 29 June 2018 The Russian government has made efforts to promote the World Cup as taking place in a tolerant and friendly atmosphere, despite the current geopolitical tensions. Laura Smith-spark And Simon Cullen, CNN, "UK gay rights activist arrested in Russia as World Cup opens," 14 June 2018

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

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tolerant

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tolerant

The first known use of tolerant was in 1776

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More Definitions for tolerant



English Language Learners Definition of tolerant

: willing to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own

: able to allow or accept something that is harmful, unpleasant, etc.


tol·​er·​ant | \ˈtä-lə-rənt \

Kids Definition of tolerant

: showing tolerance

Other Words from tolerant

tolerantly adverb


tol·​er·​ant | \-rənt \

Medical Definition of tolerant 

: exhibiting tolerance (as for a drug or physiological insult) lactose tolerant

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More from Merriam-Webster on tolerant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tolerant

Spanish Central: Translation of tolerant

Nglish: Translation of tolerant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tolerant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tolerant

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


noxious or harmful

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