What does tolerate mean?

Definitions for tolerate
ˈtɒl əˌreɪttol·er·ate

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. digest, endure, stick out, stomach, bear, stand, tolerate, support, brook, abide, suffer, put upverb

    put up with something or somebody unpleasant

    "I cannot bear his constant criticism"; "The new secretary had to endure a lot of unprofessional remarks"; "he learned to tolerate the heat"; "She stuck out two years in a miserable marriage"

  2. tolerateverb

    recognize and respect (rights and beliefs of others)

    "We must tolerate the religions of others"

  3. tolerateverb

    have a tolerance for a poison or strong drug or pathogen or environmental condition

    "The patient does not tolerate the anti-inflammatory drugs we gave him"

  4. allow, permit, tolerateverb

    allow the presence of or allow (an activity) without opposing or prohibiting

    "We don't allow dogs here"; "Children are not permitted beyond this point"; "We cannot tolerate smoking in the hospital"


  1. tolerateverb

    To allow (something that one dislikes or disagrees with) to exist or occur without interference.

  2. Etymology: From toleratus, from tolero. Cognate with þolian. More at thole.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Tolerateverb

    To allow so as not to hinder; to suffer.

    Etymology: tolero, Lat. tolerer, Fr.

    Inasmuch as they did resolve to remove only such things of that kind as the church might best spare, retaining the residue; their whole counsel is, in this point, utterly condemned, as having either proceeded from the blindness of those times, or from negligence, or from desire of honour and glory, or from an erroneous opinion that such things might be tolerated for a while. Richard Hooker, b. iv.

    We shall tolerate flying horses, harpies, and satyrs; for these are poetical fancies, whose shaded moralities requite their substantial falsities. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours, b. v.

    Men should not tolerate themselves one minute in any known sin. Decay of Piety.

    Crying should not be tolerated in children. John Locke.

    We are fully convinced that we shall always tolerate them, but not that they will tolerate us. Jonathan Swift.


  1. tolerate

    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. tolerate

    To tolerate means to accept or endure someone or something unpleasant, annoying, or different without interference or objection. It is the ability to cope with or permit things that are not necessarily agreed with or liked. This can refer to dealing with undesirable situations, individuals, behaviors, or even physical conditions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tolerateverb

    to suffer to be, or to be done, without prohibition or hindrance; to allow or permit negatively, by not preventing; not to restrain; to put up with; as, to tolerate doubtful practices

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British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tolerate' in Verbs Frequency: #1017

How to pronounce tolerate?

How to say tolerate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tolerate in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tolerate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of tolerate in a Sentence

  1. Only Llerandi:

    At this historical juncture it is up to me to put the welfare of my family beyond any other consideration, the threats received I can tolerate as an individual, but I will never allow them to affect my home.

  2. Eric Hoffer:

    The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbors as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant of others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.

  3. Winterville Charter Academy:

    The school leadership team acted immediately upon learning about a racially insensitive lesson and student remarks, and is currently working to address ongoing concerns from parents that racially insensitive student remarks continue, while student and staff privacy rights prevent me from sharing specific details, what I can share is that we will not tolerate racism in our school community and will continue taking swift action that addresses these issues.

  4. Sigmund Freud:

    Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.

  5. Aurora Berill:

    It's better not to tolerate the deliberate mistakes of others.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tolerate

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"tolerate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 30 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tolerate>.

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    (of a flowering plant) having two cotyledons in the seed
    A valetudinarian
    B lacerate
    C ostensive
    D dicotyledonous

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