Sculpture Für Toleranz ("for tolerance") by Volkmar Kühn, Gera, Germany
The cross of the war memorial and the Menorah for Jewish people coexist in Oxford.

Toleration is the acceptance of an action, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with, where one is in a position to disallow[dubious ] it but chooses not to.[citation needed] It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve" or as "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry" too. Toleration may signify "no more than forbearance and the permission given by the adherents of a dominant religion for other religions to exist, even though the latter are looked on with disapproval as inferior, mistaken, or harmful."[1]

There is only one verb to tolerate and one adjective tolerant, but the two nouns tolerance and toleration have evolved slightly different meanings. Tolerance is a state of mind that implies non-judgmental acceptance of different lifestyles or beliefs,[2] whereas toleration indicates the act of putting up with something that one disapproves of.[3]

Historically, most incidents and writings pertaining to toleration involve the status of minority and dissenting viewpoints in relation to a dominant state religion.[4] In the 20th century and after, analysis of the doctrine of toleration has been expanded to include political and ethnic groups, LGBT individuals and other minorities, and human rights embodies the principle of legally enforced toleration.


The word tolerance was first used in the 15th century.[5]

The word is derived from endurance and fortitude, used in the 14th century. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word was first used to describe having permission from authorities in the 1530s.[6]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Toleranz
العربية: تسامح
azərbaycanca: Tolerantlıq
Bân-lâm-gú: Khoan-iông
български: Толерантност
bosanski: Tolerancija
čeština: Tolerance
dansk: Tolerance
Deutsch: Toleranz
eesti: Sallivus
Esperanto: Toleremo
euskara: Tolerantzia
فارسی: مدارا
français: Tolérance
galego: Tolerancia
한국어: 관용
hrvatski: Tolerancija
Bahasa Indonesia: Toleransi
italiano: Tolleranza
עברית: סובלנות
ქართული: ტოლერანტობა
Latina: Tolerantia
lietuvių: Tolerancija
magyar: Tolerancia
مصرى: تسامح
Mirandés: Toleráncia
日本語: 寛容
norsk: Toleranse
norsk nynorsk: Toleranse
polski: Tolerancja
português: Tolerância
română: Toleranță
Simple English: Toleration
slovenščina: Strpnost
српски / srpski: Трпељивост
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Tolerancija
svenska: Tolerans
Tagalog: Pagpapaubaya
Türkçe: Hoşgörü
українська: Толерантність
Tiếng Việt: Bao dung
West-Vlams: Tolerantie
中文: 寬容