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[kuh n-dohn] /kənˈdoʊn/
verb (used with object), condoned, condoning.
to disregard or overlook (something illegal, objectionable, or the like):
The government condoned the computer hacking among rival corporations.
to give tacit approval to:
By his silence, he seemed to condone their behavior.
to pardon or forgive (an offense); excuse:
His employers are willing to condone the exaggerations they uncovered in his résumé.
to cause the condonation of; justify the pardoning of (an offense).
Law. to forgive or act so as to imply forgiveness of (a violation of the marriage vow):
His spouse condoned his infidelity from the early years of their marriage.
Origin of condone
1615-25, but in general currency from its use in the British Divorce Act of 1857 (see def. 5); < Latin condōnāre to absolve, grant pardon, equivalent to con- con- + dōnāre to give; see donate
Related forms
condonable, adjective
condoner, noun
uncondoned, adjective
uncondoning, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for condoned
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had no fault to be condoned; the fool was the sole culprit.

    Under the Rose Frederic Stewart Isham
  • A monstrous proceeding truly, and not to be condoned by any circumstances.

    Old Familiar Faces Theodore Watts-Dunton
  • "She has condoned Cassandra's conduct and entangled herself with Ralph Denham," she repeated.

    Night and Day Virginia Woolf
  • This survival of the barbarous instinct to kill is condoned as "sport."

    Bird Day; How to prepare for it Charles Almanzo Babcock
  • Their intimacy was condoned on all sides as a natural result of Lady Holme's conduct.

    The Woman With The Fan Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for condoned


verb (transitive)
to overlook or forgive (an offence)
(law) (esp of a spouse) to pardon or overlook (an offence, usually adultery)
Derived Forms
condonable, adjective
condonation (ˌkɒndəʊˈneɪʃən) noun
condoner, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Latin condōnāre to remit a debt, from com- (intensive) + dōnāre to donate
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 condoned



1857, from Latin condonare "to give up, remit, permit," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + donare "to give" (see donation). Originally a legal term in the Matrimonial Causes Act, which made divorce a civil matter in Britain. Related: Condoned; condoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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