English edit

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Etymology edit

From Latin tolerātus (past participle), from tolerō (I endure). Cognate with Old English þolian (to tolerate, suffer, bear). More at thole.

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

tolerate (third-person singular simple present tolerates, present participle tolerating, simple past and past participle tolerated)

  1. (transitive) To allow or permit without explicit approval, usually if it is perceived as negative.
    Synonyms: allow; see also Thesaurus:tolerate
    The party tolerated corruption within its ranks.
  2. (transitive) To bear, withstand.
    Synonyms: live with, put up with
    I can tolerate working on Saturday, but not Sunday.
    The elevator can tolerate up to 360 kilograms.

Usage notes edit

  • This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (-ing).
  • In sense 1, this verb almost always carries a negative connotation. This is in contrast with related tolerance and tolerant, which are usually perceived as positive characteristics.

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Further reading edit

Esperanto edit

Adverb edit


  1. present adverbial passive participle of toleri

Latin edit

Verb edit


  1. second-person plural present active imperative of tolerō  "bear ye, endure ye, tolerate ye"

Participle edit


  1. vocative masculine singular of tolerātus

Spanish edit

Verb edit


  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of tolerar combined with te