What does tolerant mean?

Definitions for tolerant
ˈtɒl ər ənttol·er·ant

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tolerant.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tolerantadjective

    showing respect for the rights or opinions or practices of others

  2. kind, tolerantadjective

    tolerant and forgiving under provocation

    "our neighbor was very kind about the window our son broke"

  3. broad, large-minded, liberal, tolerantadjective

    showing or characterized by broad-mindedness

    "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions"

  4. tolerant, resistantadjective

    able to tolerate environmental conditions or physiological stress

    "the plant is tolerant of saltwater"; "these fish are quite tolerant as long as extremes of pH are avoided"; "the new hybrid is more resistant to drought"

  5. tolerant, patient ofadjective

    showing the capacity for endurance

    "injustice can make us tolerant and forgiving"; "a man patient of distractions"


  1. tolerantadjective

    tending to permit, allow, understand, or accept something

    He's pretty tolerant of different political views, but don't ask him about religion.

  2. tolerantadjective

    tending to withstand or survive

    These plants are tolerant of drought and sunlight.


  1. tolerant

    Toleration is the allowing, permitting, or acceptance of an action, idea, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with. Political scientist Andrew R. Murphy explains that "We can improve our understanding by defining "toleration" as a set of social or political practices and "tolerance" as a set of attitudes." Random House Dictionary defines tolerance as "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one's own".Both these concepts inherently contain the idea of alterity, the state of otherness. Additional choices of how to respond to the "other," beyond toleration, do exist. Therefore, in some instances, toleration has been seen as 'a flawed virtue' because it concerns acceptance of things that were better overcome. Toleration cannot, therefore, be defined as a universal good, and many of its applications and uses remain contested.: 2 Religious toleration may signify "no more than forbearance and the permission given by the adherents of a dominant religion for other religions to exist, even though the latter are looked on with disapproval as inferior, mistaken, or harmful". Historically, most incidents and writings pertaining to toleration involve the status of minority and dissenting viewpoints in relation to a dominant state religion. However, religion is also sociological, and the practice of toleration has always had a political aspect as well.: xiii Toleration assumes there is a conflict over something important, something that cannot otherwise be resolved through normal negotiation without resorting to war or violence. As political lecturer Catriona McKinnon explains, when it comes to questions like what is "the best way to live, the right things to think, the ideal political society, or the true road to salvation, no amount of negotiation and bargaining will bring them to an agreement without at least one party relinquishing the commitments that created the conflict in the first place. Such conflicts provide the circumstances of toleration ... [and] are endemic in society.": 6  "The urgency and relevance of this issue is only too obvious: without tolerance, communities that value diversity, equality and peace could not persist (Vogt, 1997).": 1 An overview of the history of toleration and different cultures in which toleration has been practiced, and the ways in which such a paradoxical concept has developed into a guiding one, illuminates its contemporary use as political, social, religious, and ethnic, applying to LGBT individuals and other minorities, and other connected concepts such as human rights.


  1. tolerant

    Tolerant refers to being open, accepting and respectful towards beliefs, behaviors, and opinions that differ from one's own. It also pertains to the capacity to endure hardship, adversity, or stress without complaint or loss of temper. A tolerant individual or system bears or withstands variations, deviations or abnormalities.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tolerantadjective

    inclined to tolerate; favoring toleration; forbearing; indulgent


  1. Tolerant

    Showing the capacity for endurance.

Editors Contribution

  1. tolerant

    To respect the choices, decisions, opinions and rights of a person.

    They were very tolerant towards all people as they were very secure with themselves.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 10, 2020  

How to pronounce tolerant?

How to say tolerant in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tolerant in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tolerant in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of tolerant in a Sentence

  1. Emma Ross:

    We adapted the central nervous system to be OK with not stopping exercise at those( normal) levels, to be more tolerant of high intensity, in an untrained person the system is quite conservative but shifts as you train.

  2. Barack Obama:

    My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.

  3. Charles Kelly Barrow:

    We're in a country that's supposed to be tolerant, and suddenly they're targeting our culture.

  4. Alexis Charles Henri Clrel de Tocqueville:

    In the South where slavery still exists, the Negroes are less carefully kept apart they sometimes share the labors and the recreations of the whites the whites consent to intermix with them to a certain extent, and although legislation treats them more harshly, the habits of the people are more tolerant and compassionate.

  5. Hanna Yemielianenko:

    We are very tolerant and we are accustomed to living in peace, we will always manage to preserve this, regardless of the leadership's position.

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"tolerant." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tolerant>.

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