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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Continuing not to return calls is a perfectly reasonable way to show your unwillingness to condone their unlawful behavior. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 20 July 2022 For many years, Netflix and others streamers didn’t seem bothered by password sharing — and even seemed to condone it. Wendy Leestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2022 Miss Manners does not generally condone making suggestions of how others can honor oneself. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 19 July 2022 This was a step further than the Academy's statement just after Sunday night's show, which said the organization does not condone violence. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2022 While some do and generally they’re not penalized, the church doesn’t officially condone it. Jesse Wright, Chicago Tribune, 1 July 2022 The Court correctly identified the restrictions as efforts to stall or change a woman’s decision to end her pregnancy—in other words, as efforts to protect fetal life, which Roe did not condone before viability. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 25 June 2022 On the flip side, Almeida does not condone players or parents berating referees. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 June 2022 And to be clear, most don't condone it on the left or right. Anthony Salvanto, Kabir Khanna, CBS News, 2 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About condone

Time Traveler for condone

Time Traveler

The first known use of condone was in 1805

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About condone

Dictionary Entries Near condone

condonation

condone

condonement

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for condone

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Condone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/condone. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for condone

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

More from Merriam-Webster on condone

Nglish: Translation of condone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of condone for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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