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[in-tol-er-uh-buh l] /ɪnˈtɒl ər ə bəl/
not tolerable; unendurable; insufferable:
intolerable pain.
Origin of intolerable
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin intolerābilis. See in-3, tolerable
Related forms
intolerability, intolerableness, noun
intolerably, adverb
quasi-intolerable, adjective
quasi-intolerably, adverb
superintolerable, adjective
superintolerableness, noun
superintolerably, adverb
Can be confused
intolerable, intolerant.
1. unbearable, insupportable.
1. endurable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for intolerable
  • Action to correct that intolerable situation need not await the additional inquiries.
  • In fact, it renders that condition fearsome, its prospect intolerable.
  • Despite exporters' complaints, the devaluations elsewhere are not putting them under intolerable pain.
  • Oblivion to the effects of one's words or movement is intolerable.
  • Logically preposterous toponyms are the rule, not intolerable exceptions.
  • They are even more intolerable than the lady swiping cards at the dining hall.
  • They complained that the proposed outside scrutiny of draft laws was an intolerable imposition.
  • The inability to work with more than one file at a time is intolerable.
  • Eritreans are used to hardship, but this has made life intolerable.
  • Even success would leave it with an intolerable public-debt burden.
British Dictionary definitions for intolerable


more than can be tolerated or endured; insufferable
(informal) extremely irritating or annoying
Derived Forms
intolerability, intolerableness, noun
intolerably, adverb
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 intolerable

late 14c., from Latin intolerabilis "that cannot bear, that cannot be borne," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + tolerabilis "that may be endured," from tolerare "to tolerate" (see toleration). Related: Intolerably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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