Definition of intolerant in English:



  • 1Not tolerant of views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one's own.

    ‘as a society we are more intolerant of certain types of violence than we were in the past’
    • ‘I know you only want to do good, but you'll fail if you continue to be so intolerant of other beliefs.’
    • ‘You have a significant social consciousness, and you are very intolerant of unfair circumstances and injustices.’
    • ‘Researchers have found that Conservatives typically are dogmatic, intolerant of ambiguity with beliefs rooted in fear and aggression.’
    • ‘State-sponsored secularism, legally tightening its control, is ever more openly intolerant of rival belief systems.’
    • ‘So the answer to Matt's question, I think, is that you should seek to understand alternative views up to a point and you should also be intolerant of alternative views up to a point.’
    • ‘The play also centres on an iron-fisted leader intolerant of opposing political views.’
    • ‘The difficulty is that, just as the religious right believes wholeheartedly that it is the one true way, secularists are adamant about their beliefs and intolerant of those who do not share them.’
    • ‘You are a bit intolerant of and vicious toward people whose views differ from yours.’
    • ‘The former Archbishop of Canterbury hit out yesterday at extreme atheists who are intolerant of religious views and attempt to deny Christians a voice in public debate.’
    • ‘A bigot, according to one dictionary, is one who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.’
    • ‘For a newspaper that is supposedly tolerant of any and all lifestyles, it is surprisingly intolerant of Christians.’
    • ‘People with these ideals are so ‘liberal’ that they come full circle to conservatism, completely intolerant of people with differing ideals.’
    • ‘Since being approved by voters in 1993, that amendment had drawn national attention, causing some to view Cincinnati as being intolerant of gays.’
    • ‘Living in a society that was also intolerant of homosexual behavior, they were forced to work out their intimacy needs in unhealthy ways.’
    • ‘If this means anything, it means that the freedom of religion does not include the right to adhere to a religion which is intolerant of the beliefs of others.’
    • ‘You seem to be saying that being indifferent to your beliefs is the same as being intolerant of your beliefs.’
    • ‘It was an Australian view intolerant of mediocrity in any aspect of a test team.’
    • ‘It seems ironic to me that those who preach tolerance are so intolerant of those who do not share their liberal views.’
    • ‘Are we becoming increasingly tolerant or intolerant of offenders?’
    • ‘But his words and actions have shown him to be a discriminator and intolerant of difference.’
    bigoted, narrow-minded, small-minded, parochial, provincial, insular, blinkered, illiberal, inflexible, dogmatic, rigid, uncompromising, unforgiving, unsympathetic
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    1. 1.1 Unable to be given (a medicine or other treatment) or to eat (a food) without adverse effects.
      • ‘The class devoted to the selection of calcium supplements was designed to assist women who were lactose intolerant or who were otherwise unable to obtain sufficient calcium from their diets.’
      • ‘The symptoms became quite distressing and, after a negative colonoscopy, a simple test revealed that I was lactose intolerant.’
      • ‘He also states that he is lactose intolerant and hence avoids most dairy products.’
      • ‘Those found to be intolerant could be prescribed alternatives to avoid the side effects.’
      • ‘An essential part of the helping the immune system to recover is to accurately identify the foods to which the sufferer has become intolerant, and to avoid these foods for at least six months.’
      • ‘Any parent who is concerned that a child may be allergic or intolerant to any food should get advice from their health visitor or GP.’
      • ‘They are often considered alternatives when patients are allergic or intolerant to first line drugs or if the patient does not respond to first line agents.’
      • ‘Just as you can't feed different animal groups the same types of foods, there are also groups of people who are intolerant to certain food groups.’
      • ‘Radiotherapy should be considered in patients with macroadenomas who are resistant to or intolerant of medical therapy and in whom surgery has failed.’
      • ‘Some babies are intolerant to lactose, which is found in cow's milk.’
      • ‘Some children are also intolerant to medicines such as antibiotics and iron preparations.’
      • ‘The only reliable way to find out whether you are intolerant to a food is by excluding it from your diet for four to six weeks, then reintroducing it.’
      • ‘The patient had recently become intolerant to therapy and had discontinued taking the medication.’
      • ‘One study found that 12 percent of patients with IBS were gluten intolerant.’
      • ‘Its use is justified in patients who are intolerant to aspirin or who develop a stroke while taking aspirin.’
      • ‘It might be considered as an adjunct for occasional patients unresponsive to or intolerant of more standard treatments.’
      • ‘If the doctor administers a drug to which the patient is known to be intolerant, or gives some other wrong treatment, should the inappropriateness of the medical treatment affect the causal enquiry?’
      • ‘In 11 trials baseline pain was moderate to severe, and in five trials patients were only included if they were unresponsive or intolerant to conventional therapies.’
      • ‘She said the recent blood group diet had no scientific basis and had many people believing their blood group dictated what foods they were intolerant to.’
      • ‘The evidence for that shows that some ethnic groupings are very intolerant to certain groups of food.’
      allergic, sensitive, hypersensitive, oversensitive
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    2. 1.2 (of a plant or animal) unable to survive exposure to (a particular physical influence).
      • ‘When brook trout are absent, a maximum of one non-native salmonid is counted positively as an intolerant species.’
      • ‘Previous theoretical and empirical work has suggested that females from species with intolerant larvae should reduce their relative investment in reproduction.’
      • ‘On high sites that rarely flood, species moderately tolerant to intolerant of saturated conditions should be emphasized.’
      • ‘After only a few hours anoxia, death of previously growing tissues occurs in intolerant species; a shortage of ATP presumably being a major contributing factor.’
      • ‘This grassland-dependent species is fairly intolerant of cultivation and tends to avoid areas that contain extensive woody vegetation or that occur near roads.’
      • ‘Similar results have been obtained for the anoxia-tolerant and intolerant cereals rice and wheat, respectively.’
      • ‘Lichens are intolerant to the presence of sulfur dioxide in acid rain and different species of lichen have different threshold levels before death occurs.’
      • ‘With the exception of African lions, female felids are intolerant of other conspecifics of the same gender.’
      • ‘This is supported by the observations that intolerant plants elongated rapidly under water.’
      • ‘Thus, intolerant species had greater growth potential than tolerant species in low light, but low light prevents the full expression of these differences.’
      • ‘Gaps in this wetland function similarly to those studied in a variety of upland forest types, by serving as sites of regeneration for intolerant species.’
      • ‘In contrast, we quantified the activity of PDC in root tissues from a much larger number of tolerant and intolerant rice lines with a shared parentage.’
      • ‘For my second wish, the development of a shade intolerant tree species that sheds its limbs readily to create knot free mature wood.’
      • ‘Previous models assumed that tolerant larvae could not fight and would always be found and hence killed by any intolerant larvae if present.’
      • ‘In the absence of brook trout, up to one of two nonnative trouts (wild brown or rainbow) would be substituted as an intolerant species.’
      • ‘Other studies have addressed the role of gaps, and especially large gaps in providing the habitat necessary for the regeneration of shade intolerant species.’
      • ‘Our main aim was to examine if inherently different rates of fermentation during anaerobiosis characterize submergence-tolerant and intolerant rice plants.’
      • ‘Crawford suggested that anaerobic-tolerant species exhibit a smaller Pasteur effect than do intolerant species.’


Mid 18th century: from Latin intolerant-, from in- ‘not’ + tolerant- ‘enduring’ (see tolerant).