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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for intolerably
Historical Examples
  • Five words usually sufficed,—five words that meant so much to him, and so little, so intolerably little to her.

    A Venetian June Anna Fuller
  • This evening they seemed to him intolerably confined and stuffy.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • The place was intolerably dirty, and the smell of tobacco-smoke perfectly suffocating.

  • That paper, though clever, always seemed to him intolerably hifalutin'!

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • To the west the forest was intolerably bright, as if it was burning.

    If You Touch Them They Vanish Gouverneur Morris
  • We now rested a while from our labors, which had been intolerably severe.

  • He sprang to his feet, saying aloud, "I am intolerably anxious," and in a few headlong strides stood by the side of the bed.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • Hence came the misery in the knowledge that she must have wounded Michael intolerably.

    Michael E. F. Benson
  • I was as intolerably filthy as any brat that ever came out of a sewer.

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

    The King's Mirror Anthony Hope
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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