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 formsin·tol·er·ant·ly, adverbqua·si-in·tol·er·ant, adjectivequa·si-in·tol·er·ant·ly, adverb
Can be confusedintolerable intolerant

Synonyms for intolerant

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.

Antonyms for intolerant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intolerant

Contemporary Examples of intolerant

Historical Examples of intolerant

  • 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.

  • 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 endureintolerant of noise
Derived Formsintolerance, nounintolerantly, 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

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