Definition of tolerate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtäləˌrāt/


[with object]
1Allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference: a regime unwilling to tolerate dissent
More example sentences
  • Nor can Bulgaria afford to have its image besmeared again by being seen to be tolerating such practices.
  • No nation can prosper where corrupt practices are tolerated or in some aspects even encouraged.
  • This shocking and disgraceful practice should not be tolerated in any society.
allow, permit, condone, accept, swallow, countenance
formal brook
archaic suffer
1.1Accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance: how was it that she could tolerate such noise?
More example sentences
  • Her mother barely tolerated her ex-husband, and he was way down on her list of favorite conversation topics.
  • Robinson had been brought up by a mother who tolerated men, while believing herself superior.
  • Thank you to my colleagues who have supported and tolerated me.
endure, put up with, bear, take, stand, support, stomach, deal with;
1.2Be capable of continued subjection to (a drug, toxin, or environmental condition) without adverse reaction: lichens grow in conditions that no other plants tolerate
More example sentences
  • In addition, this medication is well tolerated, with few adverse effects.
  • Antiviral therapy is not highly effective in transplant patients and poses additional problems for these individuals, who may have difficulty tolerating the potent drugs it involves.
  • Patients tolerating the drugs initially are much less likely to develop side effects afterward.



Pronunciation: /-ˌrātər/
Example sentences
  • Three theoretical polarities are widely recognized and are here called breeders (with emphasis or reproduction), competitors (with emphasis on agonistic behavior), and tolerators (with emphasis on coping with resource shortages).
  • Breeders, competitors and tolerators are useful as categories, but are more informative as quantified axes, or polarities.
  • Both pines are sclerophyllous like tolerators, as are dawn redwood and bald cypress.


Early 16th century (in the sense 'endure (pain)'): from Latin tolerat- 'endured', from the verb tolerare.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tol·er·ate

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