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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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for tolerably

Historical Examples

  • The direction was west; then north-west, tolerably straight.

    Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia

    Thomas Mitchell

  • As soon as I was tolerably composed I returned to the parlour.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • This arrangement left us tolerably free to do as we pleased, on board.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • And yet she was tolerably certain that he knew no more than she did what Was going to happen.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • When the blood of the party was tolerably warmed, Vivian addressed them.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for tolerably


  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 tolerably



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