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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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for condone
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My father, my family, my husband, were willing to condone what they believed was my adultery.

    Theft Jack London
  • She could even understand those facts, though she could not condone them.

  • But there was one offence which a man proud of his descent could not condone.

    The Third Degree Charles Klein and Arthur Hornblow
  • Sin itself is often easier than simpleness to pardon and condone.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • This announcement was an act of folly not easy to explain or condone.

    Fifteen Chapters of Autobiography George William Erskine Russell
British Dictionary definitions for condone


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 condone

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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