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See more synonyms for tolerable on Thesaurus.com
  1. capable of being tolerated; endurable: His arrogance is no longer tolerable.
  2. fairly good; not bad.
  3. Informal. in fair health.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tolerable

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Mr. Langdon has a tolerable idea of what I think," answered Porter.


    W. A. Fraser

  • And as when soldiers are numerous, there will be not a few who are only tolerable, if even that, so of critics.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • Pray, have they tolerable accommodations at the inn in this village?

  • And how, my dear, can one report it with any tolerable advantage to you?

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Yet once established in the trenches, life was tolerable enough.

British Dictionary definitions for tolerable


  1. able to be tolerated; endurable
  2. permissible
  3. informal fairly good
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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 tolerable


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper