a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own.
interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one's own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
the act or capacity of enduring; endurance: My tolerance of noise is limited.
Medicine/Medical, Immunology.
the power of enduring or resisting the action of a drug, poison, etc.: a tolerance to antibiotics.
the lack of or low levels of immune response to transplanted tissue or other foreign substance that is normally immunogenic.
the permissible range of variation in a dimension of an object. Compare allowance ( def 8 ).
the permissible variation of an object or objects in some characteristic such as hardness, weight, or quantity.
Also called allowance. Coining. a permissible deviation in the fineness and weight of coin, owing to the difficulty of securing exact conformity to the standard prescribed by law.

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin tolerantia. See tolerant, -ance

nontolerance, noun
overtolerance, noun

1, 2. patience, sufferance, forbearance; liberality, impartiality, open-mindedness. T olerance , toleration agree in allowing the right of something that one does not approve. T olerance suggests a liberal spirit toward the views and actions of others: tolerance toward religious minorities. T oleration implies the allowance or sufferance of conduct with which one is not in accord: toleration of graft. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tolerance (ˈtɒlərəns)
1.  the state or quality of being tolerant
2.  capacity to endure something, esp pain or hardship
3.  the permitted variation in some measurement or other characteristic of an object or workpiece
4.  physiol the capacity of an organism to endure the effects of a poison or other substance, esp after it has been taken over a prolonged period

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1412, "endurance, fortitude," from O.Fr. tolerance (14c.), from L. tolerantia "endurance," from tolerans, prp. of tolerare "to bear, endure, tolerate" (see toleration). Of authorities, in the sense of "permissive," first recorded 1539; of individuals, with the sense of
"free from bigotry or severity," 1765. Meaning "allowable amount of variation" dates from 1868; and physiological sense of "ability to take large doses" first recorded 1875. Tolerant is recorded from 1784. The verb tolerate is attested from 1531.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tolerance tol·er·ance (tŏl'ər-əns)

  1. Decreased responsiveness to a stimulus, especially over a period of continued exposure.

  2. The capacity to absorb a drug continuously or in large doses without adverse effect; diminution in the response to a drug after prolonged use.

  3. Physiological resistance to a poison.

  4. Acceptance of a tissue graft or transplant without immunological rejection.

  5. Unresponsiveness to an antigen that normally produces an immunological reaction.

  6. The ability of an organism to resist or survive infection by a parasitic or pathogenic organism.

tol'er·ant adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The rapid selection for lactose tolerance raises an interesting question.
The common wood frog displays a rare trait called freeze tolerance.
But as global temperatures rise, corals are reaching their upper limits of heat
Base your decision on the amount of money you're spending, your tolerance for
  financial risk, and the cost of the policy.
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