tolerance

noun
tol·​er·​ance | \ ˈtä-lə-rən(t)s How to pronounce tolerance (audio) , ˈtäl-rən(t)s \

Definition of tolerance

1 : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina
2a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own
b : the act of allowing something : toleration
3 : the allowable deviation from a standard especially : the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece
4a(1) : the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (such as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure developed a tolerance to painkillers also : the immunological state marked by unresponsiveness to a specific antigen
(2) : relative capacity of an organism to grow or thrive when subjected to an unfavorable environmental factor
b : the maximum amount of a pesticide residue that may lawfully remain on or in food

Synonyms & Antonyms for tolerance

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of tolerance in a Sentence

a tolerance for other lifestyles The plants have a high tolerance for heat. Some patients gradually develop a tolerance for the drug and need to be given a larger dose. Some patients develop greater tolerance for the drug's effects.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The butter and Frank’s Red Hot mixed to the tolerance of each digestive tract. Matthew Korfhage, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2021 Since 2020, the city has lost at least 1,223 people to drug overdoses — some without a tolerance for fentanyl may have unknowingly injested it, while others may have simply taken too big of a dose. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Nov. 2021 The vast majority of Republicans opposed the move against Mr. Gosar, whose conduct G.O.P. leaders have refused to publicly condemn, the latest sign of the party’s growing tolerance of menacing statements. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021 This synthetic opioid is prescribed to help with severe post-surgery pain or when someone with recurring pain builds up a tolerance to other opioids, reports NIDA. Sarah Fielding, Health.com, 17 Nov. 2021 That makes the phonies especially dangerous for unwitting users who haven’t built a tolerance to opioids. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, 9 Nov. 2021 Even today, some medical students and residents erroneously believe Black people have thicker skin and a higher pain tolerance than white people, Salas said. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Oct. 2021 Putin’s tolerance of cryptocurrency comes as the White House considers launching a broad initiative to review and coordinate crypto policy across President Joe Biden’s administration that could lead to new regulations. Jake Rudnitsky, Bloomberg.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Derrick never lost his ironic sense of humor or his willingness to mix personal commitment with a tolerance for disagreement. The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About tolerance

Time Traveler for tolerance

Time Traveler

The first known use of tolerance was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near tolerance

tolerableness

tolerance

tolerant

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tolerance

Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tolerance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerance. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for tolerance

tolerance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tolerance

: willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own
: the ability to accept, experience, or survive something harmful or unpleasant
: your body's ability to become adjusted to something (such as a drug) so that its effects are experienced less strongly

tolerance

noun
tol·​er·​ance | \ ˈtä-lə-rəns How to pronounce tolerance (audio) \

Kids Definition of tolerance

1 : ability to put up with something harmful, bad, or annoying He was running out of tolerance for the pushy young cop.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
2 : sympathy for or acceptance of feelings or habits which are different from someone's own

tolerance

noun
tol·​er·​ance | \ ˈtäl(-ə)-rən(t)s How to pronounce tolerance (audio) \

Medical Definition of tolerance

1 : the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure developed a tolerance to painkillers
2 : the immunological state marked by unresponsiveness to a specific antigen

More from Merriam-Webster on tolerance

Nglish: Translation of tolerance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tolerance for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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