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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.
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 condemning
  • While condemning the medical model he conveniently uses it.
  • condemning someone's use of language is a sure way to silence them and perhaps discourage their further education.
  • condemning himself, he rose out of the pit into which he was sunk, and went no more to the circus.
  • The government, in effect, pays half the cost of condemning government spending.
  • Journalists were puzzling over the fact that left and right were united in condemning the bishops.
  • It made condemning noises and refused to take effective action.
  • There's no point in condemning the scientists for tampering with nature.
  • Trade policy is crucial: shutting out their exports is a sure way of condemning the poor to remain poor.
  • They must keep costs in check without condemning many elderly people to decades of poverty.
  • Climate change should never be used as a reason for condemning the world's poor to continued poverty.
British Dictionary definitions for condemning


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 condemning



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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