9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for condemned
  • And that condemned food, which my sister grew up obliviously consuming in copious amounts, was pumpkin.
  • The park reprieved a living system condemned to die under the pressure of progress.
  • Medieval jousting tournaments were condemned by church and state from the earliest days of their existence.
  • It turns out they're not all condemned to eventual exile.
  • Lethal injection can cause undue suffering to the condemned.
  • The question is why can some learn new sounds, whereas others are condemned to simply repeating preprogrammed fare.
  • Being condemned to a lifetime of harsh antipsychotic drugs seems a far cry from a runny nose and fever.
  • The gas industry has condemned the film as environmental propaganda and wildly exaggerated.
  • But in fact, the opposite approach is taken, where government action related to the economic is almost universally condemned.
  • How many scientists, artists, intellectuals and writers have offended the pop notions of their day and been condemned or worse.
British Dictionary definitions for condemned


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 condemned

1540s, "found guilty, at fault," past participle adjective from condemn. Of property, "found unfit for use," from 1798.



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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