tolerable (adj.) early 15c., "bearable," from M.Fr. tolerable (14c.), from L. tolerabilis "that may be endured," from tolerare "to tolerate" (see TOLERATION (Cf. toleration)). Meaning "moderate, middling, not bad" is recorded from 1540s. Related: Tolerably.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • tolérable — [ tɔlerabl ] adj. • 1314; lat. tolerabilis 1 ♦ Qu on peut tolérer, considérer avec indulgence, excuser. ⇒ acceptable, admissible, excusable . « Une négligence continuelle n est pas tolérable » (Voltaire). 2 ♦ (fin XIVe) Qu on peut supporter. ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Tolerable — Tol er*a*ble, a. [L. tolerabilis: cf. F. tol[ e]rable. See {Tolerate}.] 1. Capable of being borne or endured; supportable, either physically or mentally. [1913 Webster] As may affect the earth with cold and heat Scarce tolerable. Milton. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tolerable — Tolerable. adj. de t.g. Qu on peut tolerer. Pensez vous que cela soit tolerable? cela n est pas tolerable. cela est en quelque façon tolerable …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • tolerable — [täl′ər ə bəl] adj. [ME tollerabill < MFr tolérable < L tolerabilis] 1. that can be tolerated; endurable 2. fairly good; passable 3. Informal in reasonably good health tolerability n. tolerably adv …   English World dictionary

  • tolerable — index admissible, allowable, allowed, considerable, fair (satisfactory), imperfect, marginal, mediocre …   Law dictionary

  • tolerable — [adj] acceptable, good enough adequate, allowable, all right, average, bearable, better than nothing*, common, decent, endurable, fair, fairly good, fair to middling*, goodish*, indifferent, livable, mediocre, middling*, not bad*, okay*, ordinary …   New thesaurus

  • tolerable — Tolerable, Tolerabilis …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • tolerable — (Del lat. tolerabĭlis). adj. Que se puede tolerar …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • tolerable — ► ADJECTIVE 1) able to be tolerated. 2) fairly good. DERIVATIVES tolerability noun tolerably adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • tolerable — [[t]tɒ̱lərəb(ə)l[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe something as tolerable, you mean that you can bear it, even though it is unpleasant or painful. The levels of tolerable pain vary greatly from individual to individual... He described their… …   English dictionary

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