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

  • transitive v. To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.
  • transitive v. To recognize and respect (the rights, beliefs, or practices of others).
  • transitive v. To put up with; endure. See Synonyms at bear1.
  • transitive v. Medicine To have tolerance for (a substance or pathogen).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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


Latin tolerāre, tolerāt-, to bear; see telə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tolerātus (past participle), from tolerō ("I endure"). Cognate with Old English þolian ("to tolerate, suffer, bear"). More at thole. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.