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verb con·demn \kən-ˈdem\

Simple Definition of condemn

  • : to say in a strong and definite way that someone or something is bad or wrong

  • : to give (someone) a usually severe punishment

  • : to cause (someone) to suffer or live in difficult or unpleasant conditions

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of condemn

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation <a policy widely condemned as racist>

  3. 2 a :  to pronounce guilty :  convict b :  sentence, doom <condemn a prisoner to die>

  4. 3 :  to adjudge unfit for use or consumption <condemn an old apartment building>

  5. 4 :  to declare convertible to public use under the right of eminent domain


play \-ˈdem-nə-bəl, -ˈde-mə-\ adjective


play \-ˈdem-nə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈde-mə-\ adjective


play \-ˈde-mər\ or


\kən-ˈde-mər; kən-ˌdem-ˈnȯr, ˌkän-\ noun

Examples of condemn in a sentence

  1. We strongly condemn this attack against our allies.

  2. The government condemns all acts of terrorism.

  3. The country condemns the use of violence on prisoners.

  4. The school condemns cheating, and any student caught cheating will be expelled.

  5. City officials condemned our apartment building and forced us to leave.

Origin and Etymology of condemn

Middle English, from Anglo-French condempner, from Latin condemnare, from com- + damnare to condemn — more at damn

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of condemn

criticize, reprehend, censure, reprobate, condemn, denounce mean to find fault with openly. criticize implies finding fault especially with methods or policies or intentions <criticized the police for using violence>. reprehend implies both criticism and severe rebuking <reprehends the self-centeredness of today's students>. censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and of reprimanding <a Senator formally censured by his peers>. reprobate implies strong disapproval or firm refusal to sanction <reprobated his son's unconventional lifestyle>. condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment <condemned the government's racial policies>. denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration <a pastoral letter denouncing abortion>.

CONDEMN Defined for Kids


verb con·demn \kən-ˈdem\

Definition of condemn for Students



  1. 1 :  to cause to suffer or live in difficult or unpleasant conditions <She was condemned to spend her summer in a cast.>

  2. 2 :  to sentence to a usually severe punishment <The criminals were condemned and punished.>

  3. 3 :  to declare to be wrong <School policy condemns cheating.>

  4. 4 :  to declare to be unfit for use <condemn a house>

Law Dictionary


transitive verb con·demn \kən-ˈdem\

Legal Definition of condemn

  1. 1 :  to impose a penalty on; especially :  to sentence to death

  2. 2 :  to adjudge unfit for use or consumption

  3. 3 :  to declare convertible to public use under the right of eminent domain :  take


\kən-ˈdem-nə-bəl, -ˈde-mə-\ play adjective


\ˌkän-ˌdem-ˈnā-shən\ play noun




\kən-ˈde-mər, -ˈdem-ˌnȯr\ noun

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