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[in-tol-er-uh nt] /ɪnˈtɒl ər ənt/
not tolerating or respecting beliefs, opinions, usages, manners, etc., different from one's own, as in political or religious matters; bigoted.
unable or unwilling to tolerate or endure (usually followed by of):
intolerant of very hot weather.
unable to fully digest or absorb a specified food or drug (used postpositively or in combination):
lactose intolerant; aspirin-intolerant.
an intolerant person; bigot.
Origin of intolerant
1725-35; < Latin intolerant- (stem of intolerāns) impatient. See in-3, tolerant
Related forms
intolerantly, adverb
quasi-intolerant, adjective
quasi-intolerantly, adverb
Can be confused
intolerable, intolerant.
1. illiberal, narrow, proscriptive, prejudiced, biased, dictatorial, totalitarian.
1. liberal.
Synonym Study
1. Intolerant, fanatical, bigoted refer to strongly illiberal attitudes. Intolerant refers to an active refusal to allow others to have or put into practice beliefs different from one's own: intolerant in politics; intolerant of other customs. Bigoted is to be so emotionally or subjectively attached to one's own belief as to be hostile to all others: a bigoted person. Fanatical applies to unreasonable or extreme action in maintaining one's beliefs and practices without necessary reference to others: a fanatical religious sect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for intolerant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To what dangers might she not be subjected, by the intolerant zeal of conversion!

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • You cannot imagine a more ignorant, intolerant, narrow-minded woman than she.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • He was ever a short-tempered man, intolerant of irrelevancies.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • It shall never be said of us that we were either impatient or intolerant.'

  • It was all right, provided the intolerant establishment were to remain.

    John Knox

    A. Taylor Innes
British Dictionary definitions for intolerant


lacking respect for practices and beliefs other than one's own
(postpositive) foll by of. not able or willing to tolerate or endure: intolerant of noise
Derived Forms
intolerance, noun
intolerantly, 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 intolerant

1735, from Latin intolerantem (nominative intolerans) "not enduring, impatient, intolerant; intolerable," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + tolerans, present participle of tolerare "to bear, endure" (see toleration). Of plants, from 1898. The noun meaning "intolerant person or persons" is from 1765.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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