How does "tolerance" from "toleration"?

In 2003, I asked Merriam-Webster the following question. Neil S. Serven replied as follows.

Q: How do “tolerance” and “toleration” differ?

A: The words “toleration” and “tolerance” are quite similar in meaning. Both can be used to refer to an act of enduring, allowing, or putting up with something, as in a firefighter’s toleration of high temperatures or a teacher’s tolerance of certain behavior.

Both words, however, also have specific applications. “Tolerance” tends to be the preferred choice in scientific contexts, as when referring to the capacity of the body to resist the effects of something (such as a virus, drug, or environmental factor).

“Toleration” is the preferred term to refer to a government policy of permitting forms of religious belief and worship that are not officially established.

Unless you are referring specifically to one of these two specific meanings, either word is acceptable.

Addendum (11/15/2004): Andrew Sullivan draws the distinction nicely: “Tolerance is the eradication of hate; toleration is coexistence despite it.”

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