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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Indeed, any country that seeks to project strength, stability, and confidence cannot tolerate or perpetuate such longstanding problems. Arkansas Online, "For freedom," 24 Apr. 2021 Hostas grow in most of the country and will tolerate USDA Hardiness zones 3 to 9 (find yours here). Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Hosta Plant Care Tips To Keep Them Thriving in Your Yard," 20 Apr. 2021 But the government would not tolerate a distinct and democratic Hong Kong for even 25. The Editors, National Review, "On Hong Kong, Stay Strong," 20 Apr. 2021 Lopez Obrador won’t tolerate criticism from feminists, environmentalists, human rights activists, or the media. Nathaniel Parish Flannery, Forbes, "Is President Lopez Obrador Destroying Mexico?," 19 Apr. 2021 Many people living with celiac disease can tolerate this whole grain, along with quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum. Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "The 15 Healthiest Whole Grains You Should Be Eating," 12 Apr. 2021 Similarly, Anglophones, including those communicating in sign language, generally can only tolerate pauses that last for a second or two. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Silence is the most misunderstood negotiation superpower," 8 Apr. 2021 The wealthiest nation in the world should not tolerate millions of Americans suffering from food insecurity (Perspective, March 7). BostonGlobe.com, "Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine," 8 Apr. 2021 Most deer can't tolerate the smell of these things and will stay away from any crops that have been sprayed. Angela Watson, chicagotribune.com, "How to keep deer out of the garden," 4 Apr. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for tolerate

Time Traveler

The first known use of tolerate was in 1524

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Statistics for tolerate

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tolerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerate. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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

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Comments on tolerate

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