Meaning of TOLERANCE in English


ˈtäl(ə)rən(t)s noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English tolleraunce, from Middle French tolerance, from Latin tolerantia, from tolerant-, tolerans (present participle of tolerare to endure, put up with) + -ia -y — more at tolerate


a. : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance , fortitude , stamina


(1) : the ability to endure the effects of a drug or food or of physiologic insults whether on single or repeated intake or experience without showing unfavorable effects

the degree of work tolerance of a diseased heart

a diabetic's tolerance for sugar before glycosuria is produced

an addict's increasing tolerance for a drug, requiring increasing doses to produce a desired effect

a tolerance dose of radiation

(2) : relative capacity of an organism to grow or thrive in the presence of one or more unfavorable environmental conditions

many forest understory plants exhibit a high degree of shade tolerance

varying heat tolerances of different strains of rye

c. : the maximum amount of a pesticide residue that may lawfully remain on or in food expressed in parts per million by weight


a. : a permissive or liberal attitude toward beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own : sympathy or indulgence for diversity in thought or conduct : breadth of spirit or of viewpoint

the basis of tolerance is the knowledge that there may be a measure of truth in the other camp — Times Literary Supplement

— compare bigotry

b. : the act of allowing something : toleration

those years represented a low in our standards of ethics and the peak in our tolerance for corruption — Estes Kefauver

3. : the allowable deviation from a standard: as

a. : the amount that coins either singly or in lots are legally allowed to vary above or below the standard of weight or fineness

b. : the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece : the difference between the upper and the lower limits between which a size must be held

the blueprint called for a diameter of 0.255 inch plus or minus 0.0002, giving a manufacturing tolerance of 0.0004 inch

— compare allowance

c. : a percentage difference allowed between a shipment's actual and its billed weight to compensate for variation between scales or between methods of weighing

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.