Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To refrain from interfering with or prohibiting (something undesirable or outside one's own practice or beliefs); allow or permit.
  • transitive verb To recognize and respect (the rights, beliefs, or practices of others).
  • transitive verb To accept or be patient regarding (something unpleasant or undesirable); endure: synonym: endure.
  • transitive verb Medicine To have tolerance for (a substance or pathogen).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To sustain or endure; specifically, in medicine, to endure or support, as a strain or a drug, without pernicious effect.
  • To suffer to be or to be done without prohibition or hindrance; allow or permit negatively, by not preventing; put up with; endure; refrain from restraining; treat in a spirit of patience and forbearance; forbear to judge of or condemn with bigotry and severity: as, to tolerate opinions or practices.
  • Synonyms Permit, Consent to, etc. (see allow); brook, put up with, abide, bear, bear with.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To suffer to be, or to be done, without prohibition or hindrance; to allow or permit negatively, by not preventing; not to restrain; to put up with.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To allow (something that one dislikes or disagrees with) to exist or occur without interference.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb allow the presence of or allow (an activity) without opposing or prohibiting
  • verb put up with something or somebody unpleasant
  • verb have a tolerance for a poison or strong drug or pathogen or environmental condition
  • verb recognize and respect (rights and beliefs of others)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin tolerāre, tolerāt-, to bear; see telə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin tolerātus (past participle), from tolerō ("I endure"). Cognate with Old English þolian ("to tolerate, suffer, bear"). More at thole.

Examples

  • I'm quite happy to let the right wingers be the "tolerant" ones, especially if what they tolerate is idiocy, mediocrity, and the destruction of what this country has and should stand for.

    In Eugene, Palin says she eats granola too

  • What we need not tolerate is a federal regulatory structure that is blind to the operations of those who wheel and deal at the very center of the global economy and federal officials who are so uncertain of their aims and prerogatives that they fumble in the face of crisis. www. twitter.com/janiceharayda

    2009 May 21 « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • What more might your exquisitely delicate sensibilities manage to tolerate from a noxious slug like this, Andy, a lynching in your front yard?

    How Many Troops will Obama Withdraw from Iraq? « Antiwar.com Blog

  • "" Why do you hate (your fellow) America (ns)? "" can't abide means To put up with; to tolerate from the Latin toleratus, to endure, to put up with nothing about hatred at all.

    Obama Doesn't "Take Fox On," After All

  • Over the course of a tumultuous decade, those consequences included not just the ignominious end of an unpopular war and the fall of a president but a profound change in how much deceit the public — and the media — would tolerate from the Oval Office.

    Untruth and Consequences

  • Over the course of a tumultuous decade, those consequences included not just the ignominious end of an unpopular war and the fall of a president but a profound change in how much deceit the public — and the media — would tolerate from the Oval Office.

    Untruth and Consequences

  • What they will not tolerate is the slickly lucid, Barbara Cartland kind.

    A Man of Action

  • What they will not tolerate is the slickly lucid, Barbara Cartland kind.

    A Man of Action

  • But the other side of getting the behaviour we tolerate is getting the behaviour we demonstrate.

    Canadian Values and the Responsibility that Comes With Leadership

  • The only one I can even tolerate is El Vez (possibly Alma de Cuba).

    the continental midtown (sorry, stephen) « DESIGNPHILADELPHIA

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