What is tolerance and intolerance


[ in-tol-er-uh ns ]

/ ɪnˈtɒl ər əns /



lack of tolerance; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect opinions or beliefs contrary to one's own.

unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect persons of a different social group, especially members of a minority group.

incapacity or indisposition to bear or endure: intolerance to heat.

abnormal sensitivity or allergy to a food, drug, etc.

an intolerant act.

Words nearby intolerance

into thin air, intoe, intoed, intolerable, intolerable acts, intolerance, intolerant, intomb, intonaco, intonate, intonation

Origin of intolerance

From the Latin word intolerantia, dating back to 1755–65. See intolerant, -ance

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for intolerance

  • […] Let us fight to free the world—to do away with national barriers—to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.

    How to Fight for Freedom in 2014|James Poulos|December 29, 2013|DAILY BEAST

  • They were subject to the same educational debarment and were the victims of the same snobbery and intolerance.

    Woman in Science|John Augustine Zahm

  • The "ethicist's fallacy" is the source of all absolutism in theory, and all intolerance in practice.

    The Philosophy of Spinoza|Baruch de Spinoza

  • It seems most probable that this defence of toleration may, ere long, make its author personally feel what intolerance is.

    John Ronge: The Holy Coat Of Treves|John Ronge

  • Intolerance of dissent and impatience of contradiction are a characteristic of youth.

    The History of Freedom|John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

  • It is difficult to write apathetically on this extreme instance of a great writer's intolerance.

    G. K. Chesterton, A Critical Study|Julius West

Medical definitions for intolerance



Extreme sensitivity or allergy to a drug, food, or other substance.

Other words from intolerance


The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.