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[in-tol-er-uh-buh l] /ɪnˈtɒl ər ə bəl/
not tolerable; unendurable; insufferable:
intolerable pain.
Origin of intolerable
late Middle English
First recorded in 1400-50; late Middle English word from Latin word intolerābilis. See in-3, tolerable
Related forms
intolerability, intolerableness, noun
intolerably, adverb
quasi-intolerable, adjective
quasi-intolerably, adverb
superintolerable, adjective
superintolerableness, noun
superintolerably, adverb
Can be confused
intolerable, intolerant.
1. unbearable, insupportable.
1. endurable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for intolerably
Historical Examples
  • She opened her eyes and moved suddenly, like one intolerably stirred.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • To the west the forest was intolerably bright, as if it was burning.

    If You Touch Them They Vanish Gouverneur Morris
  • His ribs hurt him intolerably; and his wrist, too, was painful.

    Fort Amity Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Hence came the misery in the knowledge that she must have wounded Michael intolerably.

    Michael E. F. Benson
  • I have kept the Duchess and Elsa an intolerably long while on their journey to Artenberg.

    The King's Mirror Anthony Hope
  • It was midsummer, and the tent was in the daytime intolerably hot.

  • This evening they seemed to him intolerably confined and stuffy.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • But the trouble is, the passage of the many from grade to grade is intolerably slow.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • That paper, though clever, always seemed to him intolerably hifalutin'!

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • The same sun was descending over Salisbury intolerably bright.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for intolerably


more than can be tolerated or endured; insufferable
(informal) extremely irritating or annoying
Derived Forms
intolerability, intolerableness, noun
intolerably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for intolerably



late 14c., from Latin intolerabilis "that cannot bear, that cannot be borne," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + tolerabilis "that may be endured," from tolerare "to tolerate" (see toleration). Related: Intolerably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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