Definition of condemn in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈdem/


[with object]
1Express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure: fair-minded people declined to condemn her on mere suspicion
More example sentences
  • Needless to say, Rampersad was roundly condemned and his plan is probably gathering dust somewhere in the archives.
  • Campaigners have condemned the Government's plans, with non-food pubs exempt from restrictions, as ‘half measures’.
  • All such diabolic, yet cowardly actions must be severely condemned, censured and deterred with steeled resolve and equally resolute counteraction.
censure, criticize, denounce, revile, blame, chastise, berate, reprimand, rebuke, reprove, take to task, find fault with
informal slam, blast, lay into
formal castigate
2Sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, especially death: the rebels had been condemned to death (as adjective condemned) the condemned men
More example sentences
  • But during WW I, 3,082 officers and men were condemned to death, although the majority of these sentences were commuted to terms of imprisonment.
  • Still, man is the only prisoner who knows he is condemned to capital punishment; that the sentence is without appeal; and that it has been passed already.
  • Following mass arrests, several strike leaders were condemned to death, and Mielke finally made a name for himself.
convict, find guilty
2.1Officially declare (something, especially a building) to be unfit for use: the pool has been condemned as a health hazard
More example sentences
  • The bridge was immediately closed, and a second opinion sought before it was officially condemned.
  • After a month of operations, only two of the eight original aircraft were still operational, and even they were eventually condemned as unfit for service.
  • In their opinion, the justices noted that state legislatures are free to pass laws that bar officials from condemning property for private development.
declare unfit, declare unsafe
2.2Prove or show the guilt of: she could see in his eyes that her stumble had condemned her
More example sentences
  • But Professor Brown's evidence condemns that, does it not?
  • The Defendants contend that Irving stands condemned as a denier out of his own mouth.
  • The organisation's evidence condemned the unwritten principles that seem to underpin the draft bill.
incriminate, implicate
archaic inculpate
2.3(Of circumstances) force (someone) to endure something unpleasant or undesirable: the physical ailments that condemned him to a lonely childhood
More example sentences
  • And who can help but feel a great sympathy for those condemned by circumstance to live in such accommodation without the means to do so?
  • She should not be targeted by a group with an ideological agenda that may condemn her or even force her into a decision that will have lasting repercussions.
  • What Camus is saying is that man is condemned by nature and circumstances to spiritual exile, always seeking an inner kingdom in which to be reborn.
doom, destine, damn;
consign, assign



Pronunciation: /kənˈdem(n)əb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • But killing their fellow God-created human beings in order to attain their personal salvation is a blatantly selfish and the most condemnable inhumane act, morally and theologically.
  • Individually, each of these actions is condemnable.
  • Why is it condemnable to craft songs with harmonies and choruses so finely constructed they immediately bring to mind some of modern rock's best and brightest talents?


Middle English (sense 2): from Old French condemner, from Latin condemnare, from con- (expressing intensive force) + damnare 'inflict loss on' (see damn).

  • damn from Middle English:

    The word damn goes back to Latin damnare ‘to inflict loss on’. Originally to damn someone was to condemn them (a Middle English word from the same root), but associations with being condemned to hell have coloured much of the later history of the word. The desire to avoid profanity led to less offensive alternatives, such as darn, used since the 18th century. The older sense of ‘to condemn’ survives in the phrase to damn with faint praise, which was popularized by the 18th-century poet Alexander Pope in his ‘An Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’.

Words that rhyme with condemn

ahem, Belém, Clem, contemn, crème de la crème, em, gem, hem, Jem, LibDem, phlegm, pro tem, rem, Shem, stem, them

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·demn

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