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verb (used with object), de·nounced, de·nounc·ing.
  1. to condemn or censure openly or publicly: to denounce a politician as morally corrupt.
  2. to make a formal accusation against, as to the police or in a court.
  3. to give formal notice of the termination or denial of (a treaty, pact, agreement, or the like).
  4. Archaic. to announce or proclaim, especially as something evil or calamitous.
  5. Obsolete. to portend.
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Origin of denounce

1250–1300; Middle English denouncen < Old French denoncier to speak out < Latin dēnuntiāre to threaten (dē- de- + nuntiāre to announce, derivative of nuntius messenger)
Related formsde·nounce·ment, nounde·nounc·er, nounun·de·nounced, adjective
Can be confuseddenounce renounce


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for denounce


verb (tr)
  1. to deplore or condemn openly or vehemently
  2. to give information against; accuse
  3. to announce formally the termination of (a treaty, etc)
  4. obsolete
    1. to announce (something evil)
    2. to portend
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Derived Formsdenouncement, noundenouncer, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French denoncier to proclaim, from Latin dēnuntiāre to make an official proclamation, threaten, from de- + nuntiāre to announce
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

Word Origin and History for denounce


early 14c., "announce," from Old French denoncier (12c., Modern French dénoncer), from Latin denuntiare "to announce, proclaim; denounce, menace; command, order," from de- "down" + nuntiare "proclaim, announce," from nuntius "messenger" (see nuncio). Negative sense in English via meaning "to declare or proclaim" something as cursed, excommunicated, forgiven, removed from office. Related: Denounced; denouncing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper