verb de·nounce \ di-ˈnau̇n(t)s , dē- \
|Updated on: 15 Aug 2018

Definition of denounce

denounced; denouncing
1 : to pronounce especially publicly to be blameworthy or evil
  • they denounced him as a bigot
  • Others might cry or get bent out of shape when their personal tastes are denounced and ridiculed, but not him …
  • —David Sedaris
2 archaic
a : proclaim
b : to announce threateningly
3 : to inform (see inform 2) against : accuse
  • was denounced to the authorities
4 obsolete : portend
5 : to announce formally the termination of (something, such as a treaty)
  • denounced the arrangement with their former ally


play \-ˈnau̇n(t)-smənt\ noun



Examples of denounce in a Sentence

  1. The government called on the group to denounce the use of violence.

  2. The film was denounced for the way it portrayed its female characters.

Recent Examples of denounce from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of denounce

Middle English, from Anglo-French denuncier to proclaim, from Latin denuntiare, from de- + nuntiare to report — more at announce

Synonym Discussion of denounce

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

DENOUNCE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of denounce for English Language Learners

  • : to publicly state that someone or something is bad or wrong : to criticize (someone or something) harshly and publicly

  • : to report (someone) to the police or other authorities for illegal or immoral acts

DENOUNCE Defined for Kids


verb de·nounce \ di-ˈnau̇ns \

Definition of denounce for Students

denounced; denouncing
1 : to point out as wrong or evil : condemn Parents denounced the cuts to the art program.
2 : to inform against : accuse
  • I denounced him as a traitor.

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very hard to disturb or upset

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