tolerate

verb tol·er·ate \ ˈtä-lə-ˌrāt \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of tolerate

tolerated; tolerating
transitive verb
1 a : 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

tolerative

play \-ˌrā-tiv\ adjective

tolerator

play \-ˌrā-tər\ noun

Examples of tolerate in a Sentence

  1. Our teacher will not tolerate bad grammar.

  2. Racist or sexist behavior will not be tolerated.

  3. I can't tolerate that noise.

  4. The government cannot tolerate lawlessness.

  5. How can you tolerate such laziness?

  6. These plants tolerate drought well.

  7. I don't like my boss, but I tolerate him.

Recent Examples of tolerate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

tolerate Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

TOLERATE Defined for English Language Learners

tolerate

verb

Definition of tolerate for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

tolerate

verb tol·er·ate \ ˈtä-lə-ˌrāt \

Definition of tolerate for Students

tolerated; tolerating
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.

Medical Dictionary

tolerate

transitive verb tol·er·ate \ ˈtäl-ə-ˌrāt \

medical Definition of tolerate

tolerated; tolerating
: 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


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