Definition of intolerable in US English:



  • Unable to be endured.

    ‘the intolerable pressures of his work’
    • ‘The person suffering from intolerable pain always approaches a dentist for treatment.’
    • ‘They have served a three-year sentence in intolerable circumstances for something they never did.’
    • ‘The intolerable delay is partly to blame, undermining witness testimony.’
    • ‘An extension in opening times will increase the pressure to intolerable levels.’
    • ‘It will become an intolerable load which will, in some fashion, break them all.’
    • ‘To do it on bogus information, to use this kind of secrecy to do it is intolerable.’
    • ‘I act instinctively; it would be intolerable to live in this world without trying to change it for the better.’
    • ‘It is the ugliness that is intolerable to look at, that turns you to stone or salt.’
    • ‘The dread in the Baroque originated with the intolerable idea of a body without a soul.’
    • ‘But the fact that she lost the argument simply by being such an intolerable fool shows just how hated she is in the house.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the Dental Hospital in Glasgow is under intolerable strain, with huge waiting lists.’
    • ‘I am not one easily scared or intimidated and neither was my husband but as time went on the situation became intolerable.’
    • ‘We started recalling situations, which at the time had seemed intolerable but now seemed simply worth a laugh.’
    • ‘Between us and America there is nothing but water, a mighty sea, whose waves are always raging and intolerable.’
    • ‘Defeat would be hard to endure, but another rotten display would be intolerable.’
    • ‘To admit that an opponent might be both honest and intelligent is felt to be intolerable.’
    • ‘As the true horror of the situation emerges, that sense of duty becomes an intolerable pressure.’
    • ‘Union leaders now insist that the levels of violence have become intolerable and drastic measures are needed.’
    • ‘Problems in his personal life became intolerable for him and he felt unable to face his future.’
    • ‘What kind of selfishness put their families back home under such intolerable pressure?’
    unbearable, insufferable, unsupportable, insupportable, unendurable, beyond endurance, unacceptable, impossible, more than flesh and blood can stand, too much to bear, past bearing, not to be borne, overpowering
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Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin intolerabilis, from in- ‘not’ + tolerabilis (see tolerable).