Origin of tolerable

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin tolerābilis, equivalent to tolerā(re) to endure + -bilis -ble
Related formstol·er·a·ble·ness, tol·er·a·bil·i·ty, nountol·er·a·bly, adverbnon·tol·er·a·ble, adjectivenon·tol·er·a·ble·ness, nounnon·tol·er·a·bly, adverbun·tol·er·a·ble, adjectiveun·tol·er·a·ble·ness, nounun·tol·er·a·bly, adverb

Synonyms for tolerable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for tolerability


  1. able to be tolerated; endurable
  2. permissible
  3. informal fairly good
Derived Formstolerableness or tolerability, nountolerably, 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 tolerability



early 15c., "bearable," from Middle French tolerable (14c.), from Latin tolerabilis "that may be endured," from tolerare "to tolerate" (see toleration). Meaning "moderate, middling, not bad" is recorded from 1540s. Related: Tolerably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper