[ tol-uh-reyt ]
See synonyms for: toleratetoleratedtoleratestolerating on

verb (used with object),tol·er·at·ed, tol·er·at·ing.
  1. to allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit.

  2. to endure without repugnance; put up with: I can tolerate laziness, but not incompetence.

  1. Medicine/Medical. to endure or resist the action of (a drug, poison, etc.).

  2. Obsolete. to experience, undergo, or sustain, as pain or hardship.

Origin of tolerate

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin tolerātus “borne,” past participle of tolerāre “to bear”; akin to thole2

Other words for tolerate

Other words from tolerate

  • tol·er·a·tive, adjective
  • tol·er·a·tor, noun
  • non·tol·er·at·ed, adjective
  • non·tol·er·a·tive, adjective
  • un·tol·er·at·ed, adjective
  • un·tol·er·at·ing, adjective
  • un·tol·er·a·tive, adjective

Words Nearby tolerate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tolerate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tolerate


/ (ˈtɒləˌreɪt) /

  1. to treat with indulgence, liberality, or forbearance

  2. to permit

  1. to be able to bear; put up with

  2. med to have tolerance for (a drug, poison, etc)

Origin of tolerate

C16: from Latin tolerāre sustain; related to thole ²

Derived forms of tolerate

  • tolerative, adjective
  • tolerator, noun

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