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

  • noun Tolerance with respect to the actions and beliefs of others.
  • noun Official recognition of the rights of individuals and groups to hold dissenting opinions, especially on religion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act. of sustaining or enduring; endurance.
  • noun The act of tolerating; allowance made for what is not wholly approved; forbearance.
  • noun Specifically, the recognition of the right of private judgment in matters of faith and worship; also, the liberty granted by the governing power of a state to every individual to hold or publicly teach and defend his religious opinions, and to worship whom, how, and when he pleases, provided that he does not thereby violate the rights of others or infringe laws designed for the protection of decency, morality, and good order, or for the security of the governing power; the effective recognition by the state of the right which every person has to enjoy the benefit of all the laws and of all social privileges without any regard to difference of religion.
  • noun A disposition to tolerate, or not to judge or deal harshly or rigorously in cases of differences of opinion, conduct, or the like; tolerance.
  • noun In medicine and physiology, same as tolerance, 3.
  • noun Same as tolerance, 4.
  • noun A license to gather oysters or operate oyster-beds. The fee is a toleration fee.
  • noun Synonyms See tolerance.

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

  • noun The act of tolerating; the allowance of that which is not wholly approved.
  • noun Specifically, the allowance of religious opinions and modes of worship in a state when contrary to, or different from, those of the established church or belief.
  • noun Hence, freedom from bigotry and severity in judgment of the opinions or belief of others, especially in respect to religious matters.

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

  • noun the tolerance of the beliefs or the culture of others
  • noun the official recognition of an individual's right to hold dissenting opinions, especially in religion
  • noun lenience or forbearance

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

  • noun official recognition of the right of individuals to hold dissenting opinions (especially in religion)
  • noun a disposition to tolerate or accept people or situations


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • And, as we are constantly told, the only way to show toleration is to give over more tax money to fund activists, programs, events, and advertising.

    Pride 2008 2008

  • Such support, so contrary to American principles of freedom and toleration, is widely interpreted in the region as indifference to the suffering of ordinary Arabs in the Middle East ...

    The Real Roots of Terror 2001

  • Such support, so contrary to American principles of freedom and toleration, is widely interpreted in the region as indifference to the suffering of ordinary Arabs in the Middle East ...

    The Real Roots of Terror 2001

  • They point, with some appearance of wisdom, to the tolerance chown in Great Britain in dealing with Communism and urge that that toleration is the best remedy.

    From Moscow to Toronto 1938

  • It did achieve the purpose of translating a large part of the demands of the cahiers into legislative enactments; yet it did not learn the meaning of the word toleration, and it did not pave the way for liberty, but only for a doctrine of liberty.

    The French Revolution A Short History 1893

  • The duty of mutual toleration is almost the only truth all parties are unanimous in refusing to recognise.

    Zoe: The History of Two Lives 1845

  • He will accept them verbally with alacrity, even with enthusiasm, because the word toleration has been moralized by eminent Whigs; but what he means by toleration is toleration of doctrines that he considers enlightened, and, by liberty, liberty to do what he considers right: that is, he does not mean toleration or liberty at all; for there is no need to tolerate what appears enlightened or to claim liberty to do what most people consider right.

    The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet George Bernard Shaw 1903

  • And if you bothered to look into it, you'd know that he isn't talking about "toleration" in the way that modern America uses the term, but a specific kind of toleration that we might call "religious toleration."

    Texas Faith: When is it okay to use God to advance public policy? | RELIGION Blog | 2009

  • It's time that we move beyond the idea of toleration, and towards appreciation of the other.

    Bruno Giussani: TED 2008 / Day 2: Dave Eggers and Tutoring, Neil Turok and the next African Einstein, Karen Armstrong and the Charter for Compassion 2008

  • I think it's time that we moved beyond the idea of toleration and move toward appreciation of the other.

    Karen Armstrong makes her TED Prize wish: the Charter for Compassion Karen Armstrong 2008


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  • No Wordies are tolerating toleration on their lists :(

    October 21, 2008

  • Probably because tolerance is so much nicer.

    October 21, 2008