Definition of tolerate
1a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradictionb : 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
tolerativeplay \-ˌrā-tiv\ adjective
toleratorplay \-ˌrā-tər\ noun
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.
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
First Known Use: 1524See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of tolerate
TOLERATE Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of tolerate for Students
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 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
Seen and Heard
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