Skip to main content
Select Source:

tolerance

tolerance
1. The ability of an organism to withstand extreme variations in environmental conditions, such as drought.

2. The build-up of resistance to drugs or other chemicals (such as pesticides), which occurs after prolonged use or application. Increasingly large doses of the chemical are required to produce the desired effect in the organism.

3. (immunological tolerance) The phenomenon by which the cells of the immune system are constrained from mounting an immune response against `self' tissues. During their development and maturation, lymphocyte precursors (i.e. precursors of both B cells and T cells) undergo a series of selection processes to ensure that they are capable of recognizing the body's own tissue markers, particularly the histocompatibility proteins, and that they do not respond to the wide range of other `self' antigens when the latter are combined with these marker proteins. Any precursor lymphocytes that fail these selection procedures are eliminated, ensuring that only tolerant clones are produced. The term `tolerance' also embraces failure of the immune response in an animal exposed to a foreign antigen to which an immune response would normally be mounted. This commonly follows exposure to the antigen during fetal life, presumably when the immune system is developing self-tolerance.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tolerance." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tolerance." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance

"tolerance." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved September 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

tolerance

tol·er·ance / ˈtäl(ə)rəns/ • n. 1. the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with: the tolerance of corruption an advocate of religious tolerance. ∎  the capacity to endure continued subjection to something, esp. a drug, transplant, antigen, or environmental conditions, without adverse reaction: the desert camel shows the greatest tolerance to dehydration species were grouped according to pollution tolerance | various species of diatoms display different tolerances to acid. ∎  diminution in the body's response to a drug after continued use. 2. an allowable amount of variation of a specified quantity, esp. in the dimensions of a machine or part: 250 parts in his cars were made to tolerances of one thousandth of an inch.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tolerance." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tolerance." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance-0

"tolerance." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

tolerance

tolerance (tol-er-ăns) n. the reduction or loss of the normal response to a substance that usually provokes a reaction in the body. drug t. tolerance that may develop after taking a particular drug over a long period of time. In such cases increased doses are necessary to produce the desired effect. See also glucose tolerance test, immunological tolerance.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tolerance." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tolerance." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance

"tolerance." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved September 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

tolerance

toleranceabeyance, conveyance, purveyance •creance • ambience •irradiance, radiance •expedience, obedience •audience •dalliance, mésalliance •salience •consilience, resilience •emollience • ebullience •convenience, lenience, provenience •impercipience, incipience, percipience •variance • experience •luxuriance, prurience •nescience • omniscience •insouciance • deviance •subservience • transience •alliance, appliance, compliance, defiance, misalliance, neuroscience, reliance, science •allowance •annoyance, clairvoyance, flamboyance •fluence, pursuance •perpetuance • affluence • effluence •mellifluence • confluence •congruence • issuance • continuance •disturbance •attendance, dependence, interdependence, resplendence, superintendence, tendance, transcendence •cadence •antecedence, credence, impedance •riddance • diffidence • confidence •accidence • precedence • dissidence •coincidence, incidence •evidence •improvidence, providence •residence •abidance, guidance, misguidance, subsidence •correspondence, despondence •accordance, concordance, discordance •avoidance, voidance •imprudence, jurisprudence, prudence •impudence • abundance • elegance •arrogance • extravagance •allegiance • indigence •counter-intelligence, intelligence •negligence • diligence • intransigence •exigence •divulgence, effulgence, indulgence, refulgence •convergence, divergence, emergence, insurgence, resurgence, submergence •significance •balance, counterbalance, imbalance, outbalance, valance •parlance • repellence • semblance •bivalence, covalence, surveillance, valence •sibilance • jubilance • vigilance •pestilence • silence • condolence •virulence • ambulance • crapulence •flatulence • feculence • petulance •opulence • fraudulence • corpulence •succulence, truculence •turbulence • violence • redolence •indolence • somnolence • excellence •insolence • nonchalance •benevolence, malevolence •ambivalence, equivalence •Clemence • vehemence •conformance, outperformance, performance •adamance • penance • ordinance •eminence • imminence •dominance, prominence •abstinence • maintenance •continence • countenance •sustenance •appurtenance, impertinence, pertinence •provenance • ordnance • repugnance •ordonnance • immanence •impermanence, permanence •assonance • dissonance • consonance •governance • resonance • threepence •halfpence • sixpence •comeuppance, tuppence, twopence •clarence, transparence •aberrance, deterrence, inherence, Terence •remembrance • entrance •Behrens, forbearance •fragrance • hindrance • recalcitrance •abhorrence, Florence, Lawrence, Lorentz •monstrance •concurrence, co-occurrence, occurrence, recurrence •encumbrance •adherence, appearance, clearance, coherence, interference, perseverance •assurance, durance, endurance, insurance •exuberance, protuberance •preponderance • transference •deference, preference, reference •difference • inference • conference •sufferance • circumference •belligerence • tolerance • ignorance •temperance • utterance • furtherance •irreverence, reverence, severance •deliverance • renascence • absence •acquiescence, adolescence, arborescence, coalescence, convalescence, deliquescence, effervescence, essence, evanescence, excrescence, florescence, fluorescence, incandescence, iridescence, juvenescence, luminescence, obsolescence, opalescence, phosphorescence, pubescence, putrescence, quiescence, quintessence, tumescence •obeisance, Renaissance •puissance •impuissance, reminiscence •beneficence, maleficence •magnificence, munificence •reconnaissance • concupiscence •reticence •licence, license •nonsense •nuisance, translucence •innocence • conversance • sentience •impatience, patience •conscience •repentance, sentence •acceptance • acquaintance •acquittance, admittance, intermittence, pittance, quittance, remittance •assistance, coexistence, consistence, distance, existence, insistence, outdistance, persistence, resistance, subsistence •instance • exorbitance •concomitance •impenitence, penitence •appetence •competence, omnicompetence •inheritance • capacitance • hesitance •Constance • importance • potence •conductance, inductance, reluctance •substance • circumstance •omnipotence • impotence •inadvertence • grievance •irrelevance, relevance •connivance, contrivance •observance • sequence • consequence •subsequence • eloquence •grandiloquence, magniloquence •brilliance • poignance •omnipresence, pleasance, presence •complaisance • malfeasance •incognizance, recognizance •usance • recusance

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tolerance." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tolerance." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance

"tolerance." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tolerance

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Tolerance

TOLERANCE

Generally, tolerance means allowing, without intending either to approve or encourage, what one holds to be an evil or a questionable good. It implies at least interior reprobation of the evil and a refusal to use force to repress it. Tolerance therefore should be distinguished from indifference, which permits something merely because it is thought unimportant. Tolerance, however, is often used in a more positive, maximal sense to refer to respect, sympathy, and charity for persons holding views different from one's own.

We commonly speak of two types of tolerance, doctrinal (dogmatic) and personal (practical). Doctrinal tolerance is the permitting of error to be spread unopposed. Practiced systematically, this would be reprehensible because it becomes equivalent to indifferentism or relativism. Truth is a primary human value, to be cherished and protected. We cannot, then, accept error on a par with truth or allow it to be propagated unchallenged. Instead, we must combat it while maintaining an unflagging love for its proponents. Personal tolerance is the permitting of others to hold and put into practice views that diverge from one's own. A crucial case concerns the toleration of different religions by the state: how and to what extent can it be justified?

Some ways of vindicating it are unsound. Indifferentists defend it on the grounds that one religion is as good as any other; but while every man may save his soul by following his conscience, obviously the Church founded by God for this purpose can help us attain our end more surely and easily than any other. Relativists hold that every religion uncovers a different aspect of the truth, and that they are all necessary, therefore, for the possessing of truth in its fulness. Although every religion mirrors the truth to some degree, we cannot say that each one has a different parcel of it; moreover, the most full and adequate possession of it is necessarily to be found in the Church established by God as a vehicle for His revelation.

Catholics are divided in regard to personal tolerance. Some maintain the more conservative "thesis-hypothesis" theory. The "thesis" refers to the ideal: a state in which all or a large majority of the citizens are Catholic and Catholicism is the official, privileged religion; in harmonious cooperation Church and State help each other attain their respective ends; hence, to maintain the one true faith, the disruption of which would be a serious spiritual evil and detrimental also to civil life, the state must not ordinarily tolerate heretical teachings. Under the "hypothesis" that there is not a Catholic majority, a state may licitly tolerate a variety of beliefs to preserve peace.

The more liberal position is that it is not tolerance, but religious liberty for everyone that should be accepted as a matter of principle by every state, for religious liberty is a natural right that is violated by mere tolerance. It is required by the very nature of the act of faith as a personal and free commitment, which would be contravened by any direct or indirect pressure brought against it. The ends and the functions of the state are limited to the temporal order and cannot validly be extended into the spiritual. We also know from past experience that ecclesiastical reliance on the secular arm inevitably tends to bring about regrettable excesses and situations.

Vatican Council II gave the theory and practice of tolerance a meaning quite different from that of the formerly common Catholic position. In its Declaration on Religious Freedom, the Council explicitly acknowledged it to be a natural right that as rational and free agents all men should be able to respond, freely and responsibly, to the truth as each perceives it (Dignitatis humanae 24).

The implication is that tolerance is not the issue so much as fellowship: in fraternal dialogue, all should seek to understand and learn from each other. In a polarized society tolerance may be the minimal safeguard against injustice, but such is not the ideal or the norm. Instead of merely tolerating each other, religious groups should have remorse over their divisions and accept one another with respect and affection. The function of the State is not to tolerate any Church but to guarantee the full freedom of all within the requirements of the common good (cf. ibid. 6).

See Also: church and state; freedom of religion; freedom, spiritual.

Bibliography: a. vermeersch, Tolerance, tr. w. h. page (New York 1913). leo xiii, "Immortale Dei" (Encyclical, Nov. 1, 1885) Acta Sanctorum 18 (1885) 161180, Eng. Catholic Mind 34 (Nov. 8, 1936) 425429. j. a. ryan and f. j. boland, Catholic Principles of Politics (New York 1940). pius xii, "Ci riesce" (Address, Dec. 6, 1953) Acta Apostolicae Sedis 45 (1953) 794802, Eng. Catholic Mind 52 (April 1954) 244251. Tolerance and the Catholic: A Symposium, tr. g. lamb (New York 1955). j. maritain, Truth and Human Fellowship (Princeton, N.J. 1957). a. f. carrillo de albornoz, Roman Catholicism and Religious Liberty (Geneva 1959). r. j. regan, American Pluralism and the Catholic Conscience (New York 1963). p. riga, Catholic Thought in Crisis (Milwaukee 1963).

[g. j. dalcourt]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tolerance." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Tolerance." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tolerance

"Tolerance." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tolerance

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.