tol·​er·​a·​tion | \ ˌtä-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce toleration (audio) \

Definition of toleration

1a : the act or practice of tolerating something
b : a government policy of permitting forms of religious belief and worship not officially established

Examples of toleration in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In their book How Democracies Die, Harvard political scientists Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky identify two core norms that keep democratic systems alive: Mutual toleration and forbearance. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "New Jersey Democrats have a new gerrymandering plan. It is indefensible — and national Democrats need to stop it.," 14 Dec. 2018 James’s accession to the throne gave Penn increased influence at court and the prospect of some success in his long crusade for freedom of conscience and toleration. Robert K. Landers, WSJ, "‘William Penn’ and ‘The Worlds of William Penn’ Review: A Trans-Atlantic ‘Holy Experiment’," 11 Jan. 2019 Casey Mattox, senior fellow for free speech and toleration at the libertarian Charles Koch Institute, told Fox News. Fox News, "Supreme Court decisions could curb campus censorship," 24 Aug. 2018 The rebuke comes two days after Haley announced the United States' resignation from the U.N. Human Rights Council over that body's perceived bias against Israel and toleration of human rights abusers. Jeff Stein,, "Haley: 'It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America'," 22 June 2018 Such doubts would counsel toleration for different ways of thinking. Yoram Hazony, WSJ, "The Dark Side of the Enlightenment," 6 Apr. 2018 But if this is not merely to replace one fever with another, there must also be an intellectual struggle to recover moderation and toleration, and a spiritual effort to find the peace no politics will ever provide. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "How Do We Cope With Trump?," 23 Feb. 2018 The three siblings squabble but also learn about toleration and facing serious situations together as a family. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Conflicting views of Holocaust stirs Jewish American family in play," 15 Feb. 2018 Today Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain offer variations on this muddled-middle theme, some of them formal coalitions, some looser toleration agreements. The Economist, "Dancing with dangerEurope’s populists are waltzing into the mainstream," 3 Feb. 2018

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

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about toleration

Dictionary Entries near toleration






to let


Statistics for toleration

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for toleration

The first known use of toleration was in 1531

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for toleration


tol·​er·​a·​tion | \ ˌtäl-ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce toleration (audio) \

Medical Definition of toleration

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on toleration

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toleration

Spanish Central: Translation of toleration

Nglish: Translation of toleration for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about toleration

Comments on toleration

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


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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