condone

verb
con·​done | \ kən-ˈdōn How to pronounce condone (audio) \
condoned; condoning

Definition of condone

transitive verb

: to regard or treat (something bad or blameworthy) as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless a government accused of condoning racism condone corruption in politics

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Other Words from condone

condonable \ kən-​ˈdō-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce condone (audio) \ adjective
condoner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for condone

excuse, condone, pardon, forgive mean to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these. excuse an interruption excused them for interrupting Often the term implies extenuating circumstances. injustice excuses strong responses condone implies that one overlooks without censure behavior (such as dishonesty or violence) that involves a serious breach of a moral, ethical, or legal code, and the term may refer to the behavior or to the agent responsible for it. a society that condones alcohol but not narcotics pardon implies that one remits a penalty due for an admitted or established offense. pardon a criminal forgive implies that one gives up all claim to requital and to resentment or vengeful feelings. could not forgive their rudeness

Did You Know?

Since some folks don't condone even minor usage slips, you might want to get the meaning of this word straight. Although English speakers sometimes use "condone" with the intended meaning "approve of" or "encourage," the more established meaning is closer to "pardon" or "overlook." "Condone" comes from the Latin verb condonare, which means "to absolve." "Condonare" in turn combines the Latin prefix con-, indicating thoroughness, and donare, meaning "to give" or "to grant." Not surprisingly, "donare" is also the source of our words "donate" and "pardon."

Examples of condone in a Sentence

"I don't condone violence, and I think 'gangsta rap' should be outlawed," says [designer Tommy] Hilfiger … — Joshua Levine, Forbes, 21 Apr. 1997 Without waiting for Momma's thanks, he rode out of the yard, sure that things were as they should be and that he was a gentle squire, saving those deserving serfs from the laws of the land, which he condoned. — Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969 And then she told him all—told him the truth word by word, without attempting to shield herself or condone her error. — Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, 1912 a government that has been accused of condoning racism he is too quick to condone his friend's faults
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Recent Examples on the Web None of this, in my mind, is meant to condone or excuse huge, risky gatherings — like the Halloween party in Utah County with thousands of young people — that show blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: We need to get past the COVID shaming for public health’s sake," 21 Dec. 2020 The decision, revealed in a lengthy statement, does not condone the officers’ actions but rather says the cumulative evidence was not enough to support a federal criminal civil rights prosecution. Time, "Justice Department Declines to Charge Officer Who Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice," 30 Dec. 2020 The association doesn’t condone or encourage people to disregard the rules, Thomas added. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area diners are still eating outside restaurants, whether businesses want it or not," 12 Dec. 2020 My sense is that game companies have no one to blame but themselves for encouraging behavior that no responsible parent would condone. David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Are ‘loot boxes’ in video games a form of gambling?," 11 Dec. 2020 François Legault, the premier of Quebec, had been among the few political leaders to condone small gatherings over the holidays. New York Times, "Christmas Trees — an Elusive Bit of Happiness for Canadians," 7 Dec. 2020 The decision, revealed in a lengthy statement, does not condone the officers’ actions but rather says the cumulative evidence was not enough to support a federal criminal civil rights prosecution. Time, "Justice Department Declines to Charge Officer Who Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice," 30 Dec. 2020 The decision, revealed in a lengthy statement, does not condone the officers’ actions but rather says the cumulative evidence was not enough to support a federal criminal civil rights prosecution. Time, "Justice Department Declines to Charge Officer Who Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice," 30 Dec. 2020 The decision, revealed in a lengthy statement, does not condone the officers’ actions but rather says the cumulative evidence was not enough to support a federal criminal civil rights prosecution. Michael Balsamo, Anchorage Daily News, "Feds decline charges against officers in Tamir Rice case," 29 Dec. 2020

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

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First Known Use of condone

1805, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for condone

Latin condonare to absolve, from com- + donare to give — more at donation

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Time Traveler for condone

Time Traveler

The first known use of condone was in 1805

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Statistics for condone

Last Updated

11 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Condone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/condone. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for condone

condone

verb

English Language Learners Definition of condone

: to forgive or approve (something that is considered wrong) : to allow (something that is considered wrong) to continue

condone

verb
con·​done | \ kən-ˈdōn \
condoned; condoning

Kids Definition of condone

: to treat (something bad) as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless I can't condone his actions.

condone

transitive verb
con·​done | \ kən-ˈdōn How to pronounce condone (audio) \
condoned; condoning

Legal Definition of condone

: to pardon or overlook voluntarily

History and Etymology for condone

Latin condonare to give away, absolve

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Comments on condone

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