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 Yes, a warm sun, calm breeze and a little body surfing will do wonders for the mind, relaxing it and enabling the toleration of all manner of aggravations while sheltering at home. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Newsom could use some beach time. It’s sad he’s closing Orange County beaches amid coronavirus," 30 Apr. 2020 Acts of constitutional hardball may then in turn further undermine mutual toleration, reinforcing beliefs that our rivals pose a dangerous threat. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "How Trump Could Further Erode Democracy During Impeachment," 30 Sep. 2019 After a three-year war, the liberal principles of religious toleration and the separation of church and state triumphed. The Economist, "Bello Latin America’s new war of religion," 6 Feb. 2020 The keynote speaker at the 2020 National Prayer Breakfast Thursday was Harvard's Arthur Brooks, who took as his theme a call to love — not toleration or civility but love — for our political enemies. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "Why Trump can't believe his opponents' prayers," 6 Feb. 2020 Cohen has made a lucrative career of this shtick, mocking ordinary Americans’ toleration of his eccentric and offensive behavior. Nate Hochman, National Review, "Sacha Baron Cohen’s Tired Elitist Shtick," 25 June 2019 Insatiable profit motives have led to the toleration of bigotry and the exploitation of users across major social media platforms. Alexander Heffner, WIRED, "Greed Is to Blame for the Radicalization of Social Media," 30 June 2019 In this way, the toleration adopted by the international system also began to filter into states themselves, eventually attaining the status of a norm in most Western countries. Yoram Hazony, WSJ, "The Liberty of Nations," 24 Aug. 2018 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

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

Time Traveler for toleration

Time Traveler

The first known use of toleration was in 1531

See more words from the same year

Statistics for toleration

Cite this Entry

“Toleration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!