[ kuhn-dem ]
See synonyms for: condemncondemnedcondemningcondemnable on

verb (used with object)
  1. to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of; censure.

  2. to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment: to condemn a murderer to life imprisonment.

  1. to give grounds or reason for convicting or censuring: His acts condemn him.

  2. to judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service: to condemn an old building.

  3. U.S. Law. to acquire ownership of for a public purpose, under the right of eminent domain: The city condemned the property.

  4. to force into a specific state or activity: His lack of education condemned him to a life of menial jobs.

  5. to doom to eternal punishment in hell.

  6. to declare incurable.

Origin of condemn

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English condempnen, from Anglo-French, Old French condem(p)ner, from Latin condemnāre; see con-, damn

synonym study For condemn

1. See blame.

Opposites for condemn

Other words from condemn

  • con·dem·na·ble [kuhn-dem-nuh-buhl], /kənˈdɛm nə bəl/, adjective
  • con·dem·na·bly, adverb
  • con·demn·er [kuhn-dem-er], /kənˈdɛm ər/, con·dem·nor [kuhn-dem-er, kuhn-dem-nawr], /kənˈdɛm ər, kən dɛmˈnɔr/, noun
  • con·demn·ing·ly, adverb
  • re·con·demn, verb (used with object)
  • self-con·demn·ing, adjective
  • un·con·dem·na·ble, adjective
  • un·con·demn·ing, adjective
  • un·con·demn·ing·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with condemn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use condemn in a sentence

  • How could this dazzling creature have done something so condemnable.

    Spilling My Family's Secrets | Frances Osborne | May 21, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • A draft was submitted to Marx and he wrote of it that it was "utterly condemnable and demoralizing to the party."

    Socialism | John Spargo
  • Of our Cant, all condemnable, how much is not condemnable without pity; we had almost said, without respect!

    Past and Present | Thomas Carlyle
  • "The theocratic despotism of kings or the democratic despotism of majorities" are alike condemnable.

    Anarchism | Paul Eltzbacher
  • Stranger still, her harsher qualities appeared where her manner of life was lawful, and her finer ones where it was condemnable.

    Not Pretty, But Precious | John Hay, et al.
  • It has constituted itself judge; condemns what is condemnable, resists violence, endeavours to enlighten the masses.

    Paris under the Commune | John Leighton

British Dictionary definitions for condemn


/ (kənˈdɛm) /

  1. to express strong disapproval of; censure

  2. to pronounce judicial sentence on

  1. to demonstrate the guilt of: his secretive behaviour condemned him

  2. to judge or pronounce unfit for use: that food has been condemned

  3. to compel or force into a particular state or activity: his disposition condemned him to boredom

Origin of condemn

C13: from Old French condempner, from Latin condemnāre, from damnāre to condemn; see damn

Derived forms of condemn

  • condemnable (kənˈdɛməbəl), adjective
  • condemnably, adverb
  • condemnation, noun
  • condemner, noun
  • condemningly, adverb

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