condemn

verb

con·​demn kən-ˈdem How to pronounce condemn (audio)
condemned; condemning; condemns

transitive verb

1
: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation
a policy widely condemned as racist
2
a
: to pronounce guilty : convict
b
: sentence, doom
condemn a prisoner to die
3
: to adjudge unfit for use or consumption
condemn an old apartment building
4
: to declare convertible to public use under the right of eminent domain
condemnable adjective
condemnatory adjective
condemner noun
or condemnor
kən-ˈde-mər How to pronounce condemn (audio)
kən-ˌdem-ˈnȯr,
ˌkän-
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Example Sentences

We strongly condemn this attack against our allies. The government condemns all acts of terrorism. The country condemns the use of violence on prisoners. The school condemns cheating, and any student caught cheating will be expelled. City officials condemned our apartment building and forced us to leave.
Recent Examples on the Web Members of Belen’s family address the sentencing judge, some to condemn, others to defend. jsonline.com, 16 Nov. 2022 Soon, many condemn their Roma neighbors, allegedly responsible for the assault. Marta Balaga, Variety, 16 Nov. 2022 President Biden called on officials on Friday to condemn the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, during a fundraiser for the state party in Pennsylvania. Tarini Parti, WSJ, 29 Oct. 2022 Make no mistake, McAleer is polemical, but My Son Hunter doesn’t condemn Hunter Biden so much as understand him and the nature of his offense — thus demonstrating the ultimate form of journalistic scruples. Armond White, National Review, 19 Oct. 2022 Martinez’s own words condemn her and the three enablers more effectively than anyone else could. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2022 When facing a superior opponent, condemn the misdeeds of their allies, peers, and fans. Dennard Dayle, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2022 Beijing has since refused to condemn the aggression, instead repeatedly laying blame for the conflict on NATO and the United States. Simone Mccarthy, CNN, 6 Sep. 2022 His message was drowned out by the apostles of the cultural Left in politics, education, and the media, who condemn policing and sentencing as racist and the criminal-justice system as irredeemable. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 5 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'condemn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of condemn was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near condemn

Cite this Entry

“Condemn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/condemn. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

condemn

verb

con·​demn kən-ˈdem How to pronounce condemn (audio)
1
: to declare to be wrong : censure
condemned their behavior
2
a
: to pronounce guilty : convict
3
: to declare to be unfit for use or consumption
a condemned building
condemnation
ˌkän-ˌdem-ˈnā-shən
-dəm-
noun
condemner noun
or condemnor
kən-ˈdem-ər

Legal Definition

condemn

transitive verb

con·​demn kən-ˈdem How to pronounce condemn (audio)
1
: to impose a penalty on
especially : to sentence to death
2
: to adjudge unfit for use or consumption
3
: to declare convertible to public use under the right of eminent domain : take
condemnable adjective
condemnation noun
condemner noun
or condemnor
kən-ˈde-mər, -ˈdem-ˌnȯr

More from Merriam-Webster on condemn

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ