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[kuh n-dohn] /kənˈdoʊn/
verb (used with object), condoned, condoning.
to disregard or overlook (something illegal, objectionable, or the like).
to give tacit approval to:
By his silence, he seemed to condone their behavior.
to pardon or forgive (an offense); excuse.
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).
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 condoning
  • All who stand by her side, should know they are condoning her actions.
  • To the music industry, this reluctance is akin to condoning piracy.
  • By publishing such photos, magazine editors could be seen as implicitly condoning the life style represented.
  • In fact, some scientists argue that hands-free laws make driving riskier by effectively condoning the practice.
  • Also, consider shading you air condoning unit, making it run more efficient.
  • We held that the trial judge abused his discretion in condoning such negligence by refusing to grant a default judgment.
  • Any supervisor knowingly condoning unjustified sick leave of an employee shall be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Ignoring should follow a gentle verbal reprimand showing the student the teacher is not condoning the behavior.
  • If nothing is done in the way of prevention, you are in fact condoning the activity.
British Dictionary definitions for condoning


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 condoning



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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