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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).

Tolerable, Tollerable, Tollerabill, adj. (adv.). [Late ME and e.m.E. tollerabill (1422), tollerable (1515), tolerable (1582), OF tolérable, L. tolerābilis.]

1. a. Endurable, bearable. b. Allowable, acceptable.a., b. a1500 Henr. Orph. 598.
All thir to speik it may be tollerable
1533 Boece 522.
Gif the dammage … sustenit be oure kinrik, had be the papis halynes bene inferrit, it had bene sum way tollerabill
1558 Knox IV 388.
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 21.
The first professis onlie experience without reasone, quhilk is maist dangerous, the othir reasone without experience, quhilk is maist tolerable, but not sufficient
1602 Colville Paraenese 69.
Thai be so inconsederat as to obiect for execrabill in vthers the self same things vhilk thai think tollerabill in thair self
c1616 Hume Orthog. 20.
Houbeit the e behind the c be idle, yet use hes made it tollerable to noat the breaking of the c
1658 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 172.
The counsell conceaving the said contract to be both dishonorabill to the facultie of medicinars, as also not tollerable in any weel governit incorporatioun
1679 Dunkeld Presb. I 219.
[Begging his] Grace's help … that wee may be preserved in some tolerable capacitie for serving the ends of religion
1608 Crim. Trials III 49.
Quhiche insolence is no way tollerabill and skairse excussabill
1651 Testimony-bearing Exemplified (1791) 87.
The lands … set by them at a dearer rate than the tenants can pay the duty, and live in any tolerable condition themselves

c. Of reasonable quality, fairly good. a1680 Blair Blair 595.
Hitherto he had had tolerable health

2. adv. Moderately, passably. 1659-60 A. Hay Diary 2.
This was a tollerable good day to me

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"Tolerable adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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