Other forms: tolerated; tolerating; tolerates

The verb tolerate means "to put up with or allow." You can tolerate your sister's love of Broadway musicals but really, you prefer dramas.

Think of tolerate as the open-minded verb. It means you allow something to happen or exist, even if you don't really like it. For example, you don't like your neighbor's loud music but you tolerate because he only blasts it on Saturday afternoons. Scientifically speaking, when your body can tolerate a drug, poison or even pollution, it means you aren't harmed by it.

Definitions of tolerate
  1. verb
    put up with something or somebody unpleasant
    “he learned to tolerate the heat”
    synonyms: abide, bear, brook, digest, endure, put up, stand, stick out, stomach, suffer, support
    experience (emotional) pain
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    accept, live with, swallow
    tolerate or accommodate oneself to
    hold still for, stand for
    tolerate or bear
    bear up
    endure cheerfully
    take lying down
    suffer without protest; suffer or endure passively
    take a joke
    listen to a joke at one's own expense
    sit out
    endure to the end
    bear (a cost or penalty), in recompense for some action
    get one's lumps, take one's lumps
    suffer the results or consequences of one's behavior or actions
    type of:
    allow, countenance, let, permit
    consent to, give permission
  2. verb
    allow the presence of or allow (an activity) without opposing or prohibiting
    “We cannot tolerate smoking in the hospital”
    synonyms: allow, permit
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    type of:
    allow, countenance, let, permit
    consent to, give permission
  3. verb
    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”
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    type of:
    endure, suffer
    undergo or be subjected to
  4. verb
    recognize and respect (rights and beliefs of others)
    “We must tolerate the religions of others”
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    type of:
    abide by, honor, honour, observe, respect
    show respect towards




DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘tolerate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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