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[tol-er-uh nt] /ˈtɒl ər ənt/
inclined or disposed to tolerate; showing tolerance; forbearing:
tolerant of errors.
favoring toleration:
a tolerant church.
Medicine/Medical, Immunology.
  1. able to endure or resist the action of a drug, poison, etc.
  2. lacking or exhibiting low levels of immune response to a normally immunogenic substance.
Origin of tolerant
1770-80; < Latin tolerant- (stem of tolerāns), present participle of tolerāre to bear. See tolerate, -ant
Related forms
tolerantly, adverb
nontolerant, adjective
nontolerantly, adverb
overtolerant, adjective
overtolerantly, adverb
quasi-tolerant, adjective
quasi-tolerantly, adverb
self-tolerant, adjective
self-tolerantly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tolerant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Beneath his Scotch nimbleness of mind there was a broad, tolerant, and lovable heart.

    Under Four Administrations Oscar S. Straus
  • Not being a knowledge of the whole truth it should be humble, tolerant, and eager to expand.

  • He was tolerant of all private opinions, privately expressed among men only.

    The Southern South Albert Bushnell Hart
  • It was nothing to her that the kindness took the form of tolerant patronage; she was used to that.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • A shade of annoyance passed over the face of the Chief Guardian, then gave place to a tolerant smile.

British Dictionary definitions for tolerant


able to tolerate the beliefs, actions, opinions, etc, of others
able to withstand extremes, as of heat and cold
(med) (of a patient) exhibiting tolerance to a drug
Derived Forms
tolerantly, 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 tolerant

1784, from Latin tolerantia "endurance," from tolerans, present participle of tolerare "to bear, endure, tolerate" (see toleration). Related: Tolerantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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