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[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
1510-20; < Latin tolerātiōn- (stem of tolerātiō). See tolerate, -ion
Related forms
tolerationism, noun
tolerationist, noun
nontoleration, noun
supertoleration, noun
1. See tolerance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for toleration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And the king failed not to represent the toleration of Catholics as a measure entirely of that nature.

  • Plato has not advanced quite so far as this in the path of toleration.

    Laws Plato
  • Kautsky's toleration of reform activities thus has an opposite origin to that of the "reformist" Socialists.

    Socialism As It Is William English Walling
  • They babbled of toleration, as if any heresy were to be endured, if only it were believed.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • I'm all for toleration, and let the parsons fight it out among 'em!

    Mount Music E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross
  • And this, my brethren, may teach us toleration and compassion for the rich.

  • That was not his idea of breadth of mind or toleration, or of good feeling either.

    A Change of Air Anthony Hope
  • But that great experiment of toleration lasted less than a century.

    John Knox A. Taylor Innes
British Dictionary definitions for toleration


the act or practice of tolerating
freedom to hold religious opinions that differ from the established or prescribed religion of a country
Derived Forms
tolerationism, noun
tolerationist, 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
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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
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