verb con·done \ kən-ˈdōn \
Updated on: 19 Jan 2018

Definition of condone

condoned; condoning
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


play \kən-ˈdō-nə-bəl\ adjective



condone was our Word of the Day on 09/20/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of condone in a Sentence

  1. "I don't condone violence, and I think 'gangsta rap' should be outlawed," says [designer Tommy] Hilfiger … —Joshua LevineForbes21 Apr. 1997
  2. 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 AngelouI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings1969
  3. And then she told him all—told him the truth word by word, without attempting to shield herself or condone her error. —Edgar Rice BurroughsTarzan of the Apes1912
  4. a government that has been accused of condoning racism

  5. he is too quick to condone his friend's faults

Recent Examples of condone from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of condone

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

condone Synonyms

blink (at), brush (aside or off), excuse, discount, disregard, forgive, gloss (over), gloze (over), ignore, overlook, overpass, paper over, pardon, pass over, remit, shrug off, whitewash, wink (at)
Related Words
explain, justify, rationalize; absolve, acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate; waive, wave (aside or off)
Near Antonyms
heed, mark, mind, note, object (to)

Synonym Discussion of 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

CONDONE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of condone for English Language Learners

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

CONDONE Defined for Kids


verb con·done \ kən-ˈdōn \

Definition of condone for Students

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

Law Dictionary


transitive verb con·done \ kən-ˈdōn \

legal Definition of condone

condoned; condoning
: to pardon or overlook voluntarily

Origin and Etymology of condone

Latin condonare to give away, absolve

Seen and Heard

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the quality or fact of being simultaneous

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