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See also: Thole



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English thōle, from tholen, tholien (to be made to undergo a penalty; to suffer; to experience (something unpleasant); to bear, endure, put up with; to allow, permit),[1] from Old English þolian (to endure, suffer, undergo; to thole),[2] from Proto-Germanic *þuljaną (to suffer), from Proto-Indo-European *telh₂- (to bear, suffer; to support). The word is cognate with Danish tåle (to tolerate), Middle Low German dōlen (to endure), Middle High German doln (to allow, bear, suffer), Latin tollō (to cancel, lift off, remove), tolerō (to bear, endure), Norwegian Bokmål tåle (to tolerate), Norwegian Nynorsk tola (to tolerate), Swedish tåla (to tolerate). It is also related to English thild.


thole (third-person singular simple present tholes, present participle tholing, simple past and past participle tholed)

  1. (intransitive, dated) To suffer.
    • 1387–1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Freres Tale”, in The Canterbury Tales, [Westminster: William Caxton, published 1478], OCLC 230972125; republished as William Thynne, editor, The Woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, Newly Printed, with Diuers Addicions, which were Neuer in Printe before: With the Siege and Destruccion of the Worthy Citee of Thebes, Compiled by Ihon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the Table More Plainly Dooeth Appere, London: Imprinted at London, by Ihon Kyngston, for Ihon Wight, dwellying in Poules Churchyarde, 1561, OCLC 932919585, folio XL, recto:
      Depe was the waie, for whiche the cart ſtood / This carter ſmote, & ſtriued as he were wood / Heit ſcot heit brok, what ſpare ye for the ſtones / The fende q[uo]d he, you fetche body and bones, / As ferforth as euer ye were ifoled, / So moche wo as I haue for you tholed. / The deuill hale al, bothe hors, cart, and haie.
      Deep was the way, which is why the cart stood [still] / The carter smote, and strived as if he were mad / "Gee up, Scot, gee up, Brok [the names of horses], why do you stop pulling for the stones? / "The fiend," said he, "fetch you, body and bones, / "Thus far since you were foaled [born], / "So much woe have I suffered due to you. / "The devil have all, both horses, cart, and hay."
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 14: Oxen of the Sun]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483, page 368:
      Seventy beds keeps he there teeming mothers are wont that they lie for to thole and bring forth bairns hale so God’s angel to Mary quoth.
  2. (transitive, now Northern England, Northern Ireland, Scotland) To endure, to put up with, to tolerate.


thole (uncountable)

  1. (regional) The ability to bear or endure something; endurance, patience.
    He’s got no thole for nonsense.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English thō̆le (a peg), from Old English þol, þoll (oar-pin, rowlock; thole),[3] from Proto-Germanic *þullaz, *þullō (beam; thole), from Proto-Indo-European *tūl-, *twel- (bush; sphere). The word is cognate with Danish toll (thole), Dutch dol (thole), German Dolle (oar-lock, thole).


thole (plural tholes)

  1. A pin in the side of a boat which acts as a fulcrum for the oars.
  2. The pin, or handle, of a scythe snath.
Alternative forms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ thōle, n.(2)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2 December 2017.
  2. ^ thōlen, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2 December 2017.
  3. ^ thō̆le, n.(1)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2 December 2017.

Further reading[edit]





  1. vocative singular of tholus