tolerate

verb
tol·​er·​ate | \ ˈtä-lə-ˌrāt How to pronounce tolerate (audio) \
tolerated; tolerating

Definition of tolerate

transitive verb

1a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction
b : to put up with learn to tolerate one another
2 : to endure or resist the action of (something, such as a drug or food) without serious side effects or discomfort : exhibit physiological tolerance for

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tolerate

tolerative \ ˈtä-​lə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce tolerate (audio) \ adjective
tolerator \ ˈtä-​lə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce tolerate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tolerate

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for tolerate

bear, suffer, endure, abide, tolerate, stand mean to put up with something trying or painful. bear usually implies the power to sustain without flinching or breaking. forced to bear a tragic loss suffer often suggests acceptance or passivity rather than courage or patience in bearing. suffering many insults endure implies continuing firm or resolute through trials and difficulties. endured years of rejection abide suggests acceptance without resistance or protest. cannot abide their rudeness tolerate suggests overcoming or successfully controlling an impulse to resist, avoid, or resent something injurious or distasteful. refused to tolerate such treatment stand emphasizes even more strongly the ability to bear without discomposure or flinching. unable to stand teasing

Examples of tolerate in a Sentence

Our teacher will not tolerate bad grammar. Racist or sexist behavior will not be tolerated. I can't tolerate that noise. The government cannot tolerate lawlessness. How can you tolerate such laziness? These plants tolerate drought well. I don't like my boss, but I tolerate him.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Seriously, how much eyelet can one person tolerate? Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 8 Sep. 2021 If companies lift prices once or twice amid reopening challenges, the central bank can tolerate that as a one-off change. New York Times, 23 Aug. 2021 Most people can tolerate the side effects well with the help of a provider who has experience managing this condition. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 19 Aug. 2021 Can most patients tolerate these antibody treatments? Tom Huang, Dallas News, 17 Aug. 2021 This is because, while there are other sterilization methods like heat, steam or radiation, some medical devices can't tolerate those conditions. USA TODAY, 6 Aug. 2021 Some autistic people can’t tolerate face masks because of sensitivity to touch and texture. Washington Post, 28 July 2021 The nation should not tolerate more deaths, hospitalizations, shutdowns, and economic and personal ruin. Arthur L. Caplan, STAT, 27 July 2021 Husband-and-wife design duo Cara and Tom Fox, founders of The Fox Group, won't tolerate such a boring space. Juliet Izon, House Beautiful, 20 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tolerate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tolerate

1524, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tolerate

Latin toleratus, past participle of tolerare to endure, put up with; akin to Old English tholian to bear, Latin tollere to lift up, latus carried (suppletive past participle of ferre), Greek tlēnai to bear

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About tolerate

Time Traveler for tolerate

Time Traveler

The first known use of tolerate was in 1524

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near tolerate

tolerant

tolerate

toleration

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tolerate

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tolerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerate. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tolerate

tolerate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tolerate

: to allow (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) to exist, happen, or be done
: to experience (something harmful or unpleasant) without being harmed
: to accept the feelings, behavior, or beliefs of (someone)

tolerate

verb
tol·​er·​ate | \ ˈtä-lə-ˌrāt How to pronounce tolerate (audio) \
tolerated; tolerating

Kids Definition of tolerate

1 : to allow something to be or to be done without making a move to stop it Our teacher will tolerate a certain amount of giggling.
2 : to stand the action of These plants tolerate drought well.

tolerate

transitive verb
tol·​er·​ate | \ ˈtäl-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce tolerate (audio) \
tolerated; tolerating

Medical Definition of tolerate

: to endure or resist the action of (as a drug or food) without serious side effects or discomfort : exhibit physiological tolerance for a premature baby…does not tolerate fats very well— H. R. Litchfield & L. H. Dembo

More from Merriam-Webster on tolerate

Nglish: Translation of tolerate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tolerate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!