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 condonable (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

The incumbent, Anita Alvarez, had chalked up a strong record of condoning police misconduct, however egregious, but enjoyed widespread support among the Latino community, making Foxx’s struggle an uphill battle. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "Power of Attorney," 16 Sep. 2019 Editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport will not under any circumstances condone a raisin but, hey, senior food editor Molly Baz, who grew up eating kugel at a close friend’s house, doesn’t mind them. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "We Need To Talk About Noodle Kugel," 16 Sep. 2019 Over the course of 36 episodes, Remini and fellow Scientology defector Mike Rinder have confronted the the rampant allegations of condoned and often sanctioned abuse and harassment in Scientology. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "Leah Remini's 'Scientology and the Aftermath' to End with Explosive Special," 15 Aug. 2019 Voicing opinions are important parts of the democratic process, but violence will not be condoned or tolerated. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vaccine protester arrested after dropping red liquid onto lawmakers," 14 Sep. 2019 Voicing opinions are important parts of the democratic process, but violence will not be condoned or tolerated. Los Angeles Times, "California Senate evacuated after vaccine bill protester throws ‘what appeared to be blood’ onto lawmakers," 13 Sep. 2019 Olsen, who recently graduated high school, maintained a page on the iFunny website that condoned mass shootings, attacking Planned Parenthood and not following gun laws, authorities said. Eric Heisig,, "Ohio white nationalist charged with threatening Jewish community center, feds say," 29 Aug. 2019 The database shows hundreds of officers across the country posted racist or misogynistic statements or condoned violence on their Facebook accounts. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Phoenix police union looks to 'scrub' officers from the internet after racist Facebook posts," 18 July 2019 Today security analysts widely believe that the attacks were condoned by the Kremlin, if not actively coordinated by its leaders. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Cyberwar," 23 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for condone

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for condone

The first known use of condone was in 1805

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More Definitions for condone



English Language Learners Definition of condone

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


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.


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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More from Merriam-Webster on condone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with condone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for condone

Spanish Central: Translation of condone

Nglish: Translation of condone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of condone for Arabic Speakers

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to be made up of

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