May 21, 2013
tolerate (verb)
\TAH-luh-rayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to allow something to be or be done without making a move to stop it : put up with2 : to withstand the action of
How do you use it?
Desert plants are able to tolerate long periods of drought.
Are you a word wiz?

What do you think was happening when the word "tolerate" was first being used in English?

We can't tolerate keeping anyone in suspense, so we'll tell you right away that B is correct. "Tolerate" first appeared in English in the early 1500s. This was right around the time that Suleiman I, nicknamed the Magnificent or the Lawgiver, assumed power and brought the Ottoman Empire to its military and cultural highpoint. "Tolerate" derives from Latin "tolerare," meaning "to bear" or "to endure." Another descendant of "tolerare," the noun "tolerance" was in use by the early 1400s, making it over one hundred years older than "tolerate."
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