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[kuh n-dem] /kənˈdɛm/
verb (used with object)
to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of; censure.
to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment:
to condemn a murderer to life imprisonment.
to give grounds or reason for convicting or censuring:
His acts condemn him.
to judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service:
to condemn an old building.
U.S. Law. to acquire ownership of for a public purpose, under the right of eminent domain:
The city condemned the property.
to force into a specific state or activity:
His lack of education condemned him to a life of menial jobs.
to declare incurable.
Origin of condemn
1350-1400; Middle English condempnen < Anglo-French, Old French condem(p)ner < Latin condemnāre. See con-, damn
Related forms
[kuh n-dem-nuh-buh l] /kənˈdɛm nə bəl/ (Show IPA),
condemnably, adverb
[kuh n-dem-er] /kənˈdɛm ər/ (Show IPA),
[kuh n-dem-er, kuh n-dem-nawr] /kənˈdɛm ər, kən dɛmˈnɔr/ (Show IPA),
condemningly, adverb
recondemn, verb (used with object)
self-condemned, adjective
self-condemning, adjective
uncondemnable, adjective
uncondemned, adjective
uncondemning, adjective
uncondemningly, adverb
Can be confused
blame, censure, condemn (see synonym study at blame)
condemn, contemn.
1. See blame.
2. exonerate, liberate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for condemnable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All books which meddle with the faith are condemnable and pernicious.

  • Day and night, alone and unattended, I prowled around his casino at S. Mos, nursing this condemnable desire within my breast.

  • Already the incident of the condemnable bandbox had eaten up much invaluable time.

    The Bandbox Louis Joseph Vance
  • In itself it is not condemnable; it is a noble or an ignoble ambition, according to the ways and means used to reach that aim.

  • Whispers went round hinting at delays which were condemnable because avoidable if they were real.


    Frank Fox
  • There are many variants of this malignant, brutal, condemnable, criminal and inefficient form of ethnic cleansing.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • So long as that root of anger lay in my heart, I knew there was still a lingering remnant of condemnable passion.

    The Village Rector Honore de Balzac
  • Most condemnable Trenck;—whom, however, Robespierre guillotined finally, and so settled that account and others.

  • Wherefore every state of an idle or indolent life is condemnable; such for instance as the life of monks and nuns.

British Dictionary definitions for condemnable


verb (transitive)
to express strong disapproval of; censure
to pronounce judicial sentence on
to demonstrate the guilt of: his secretive behaviour condemned him
to judge or pronounce unfit for use: that food has been condemned
to compel or force into a particular state or activity: his disposition condemned him to boredom
Derived Forms
condemnable (kənˈdɛməbəl) adjective
condemnably, adverb
condemnation, noun
condemner, noun
condemningly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Old French condempner, from Latin condemnāre, from damnāre to condemn; see damn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for condemnable



early 14c., condempner "to blame, censure," from Old French condamner "to condemn" (11c.), from Latin condemnare "to sentence, doom, blame, disapprove," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + damnare "to harm, damage" (see damn). Replaced Old English fordeman. Related: Condemned; condemning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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