tol·​er·​a·​tion ˌtä-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce toleration (audio)
: the act or practice of tolerating something
: 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 Their temple — formed last summer in the affluent neighborhood of Woodland Hills when two synagogues merged — would be a beacon of goodwill and understanding, a place where L.A. Jews and Muslims could gather in mutual toleration, appreciation and grace. Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2024 When people in families disagree about deep religious matters, the aim should be not conversion to a single view but mere toleration — toleration being the best achievable outcome. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024 These agreements gradually built a sense of mutual toleration, strengthened diplomatic relationships, and placed limits on certain zones of competition. Michael J. Mazarr, Foreign Affairs, 9 Feb. 2024 In an ironic twist, the tendency of modern Arab historians has been to emphasize this tradition of Islamic toleration—with the implication that only Zionism is to blame for the region’s woes—while many Israeli historians have worked to disprove the notion of harmonious coexistence in Andalusia. Robyn Creswell, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Nothing in this century has done more to stamp out the mutual toleration of Americans than the presidency of Donald Trump. Dell Cameron, WIRED, 25 Aug. 2023 Safeguarding the delicate accomplishment of liberal societies will require the reaffirmation of the toleration of difference, a noble spirit that Shklar hoped could sustain liberal democracy even in an age of disillusionment. Karl Polanyi, Foreign Affairs, 6 Sep. 2022 Others argued that the essay’s authors downplayed or glossed over the Palestinian hand in the crisis, including the fecklessness of the Palestinian leadership and its toleration of anti-Semitic extremism. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 23 June 2023 And in interpreting another clause of the First Amendment, the Roberts court has converted the right to free exercise of religion from a principle of toleration in a secular state to one that exempts believers and their institutions from anti-discrimination law and allows governments to fund them. Ryan D. Doerfler, The New Republic, 13 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toleration.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of toleration was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near toleration

Cite this Entry

“Toleration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


tol·​er·​a·​tion ˌtäl-ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce toleration (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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