[ tol-uh-rey-shuh n ]
/ ˌtɒl əˈreɪ ʃən /


an act or instance of tolerating, especially of what is not actually approved; forbearance: to show toleration toward the protesters.
permission by law or government of the exercise of religions other than an established religion; noninterference in matters of private faith and worship.

Origin of toleration

First recorded in 1510–20, toleration is from the Latin word tolerātiōn- (stem of tolerātiō). See tolerate, -ion
Related formstol·er·a·tion·ism, nountol·er·a·tion·ist, nounnon·tol·er·a·tion, nounsu·per·tol·er·a·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for toleration

British Dictionary definitions for toleration


/ (ˌtɒləˈreɪʃən) /


the act or practice of tolerating
freedom to hold religious opinions that differ from the established or prescribed religion of a country
Derived Formstolerationism, nountolerationist, 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

Word Origin and History for toleration



1510s, "permission granted by authority, license," from Middle French tolération (15c.), from Latin tolerationem (nominative toleratio) "a bearing, supporting, enduring," noun of action from past participle stem of tolerare "to tolerate, literally "to bear" (see extol). Meaning "forbearance, sufferance" is from 1580s. Religious sense is from Act of Toleration, statute granting freedom of religious worship (with conditions) to dissenting Protestants in England, 1689.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper