Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[tol-uh-reyt] /ˈtɒl əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), tolerated, tolerating.
to allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit.
to endure without repugnance; put up with:
I can tolerate laziness, but not incompetence.
Medicine/Medical. to endure or resist the action of (a drug, poison, etc.).
Obsolete. to experience, undergo, or sustain, as pain or hardship.
Origin of tolerate
1525-35; < Latin tolerātus, past participle of tolerāre to bear (akin to thole2); see -ate1
Related forms
tolerative, adjective
tolerator, noun
nontolerated, adjective
nontolerative, adjective
untolerated, adjective
untolerating, adjective
untolerative, adjective
2. support, accept. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tolerate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The people of old Poplar had at times unpleasant things to tolerate.

  • In the theater we make allowances for what we would not tolerate in the street or parlor.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • I know full well, if I can tolerate her spirit, I can with ease attach myself to every human being else.

    The Symposium Xenophon
  • His excessive use of tobacco was one thing he knew she could not tolerate.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • He was just such a man as Trevison—reckless, impulsive, and impetuous—dare-devil who would not tolerate injustice or oppression.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
British Dictionary definitions for tolerate


verb (transitive)
to treat with indulgence, liberality, or forbearance
to permit
to be able to bear; put up with
(med) to have tolerance for (a drug, poison, etc)
Derived Forms
tolerative, adjective
tolerator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin tolerāre sustain; related to thole²
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tolerate

1530s, from Latin toleratus, past participle of tolerare (see toleration). Related: Tolerated; tolerating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
tolerate in Medicine

tolerate tol·er·ate (tŏl'ə-rāt')
v. tol·er·at·ed, tol·er·at·ing, tol·er·ates

  1. To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.

  2. To put up with; endure.

  3. To have tolerance for a substance or pathogen.

tol'er·a'tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tolerate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tolerate

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tolerate