Definition of condemn in English:



  • 1Express complete disapproval of; censure.

    ‘most leaders roundly condemned the attack’
    ‘the plan was condemned by campaigners’
    • ‘But you may remember that Israel was roundly condemned when they went into Lebanon in a preemptive strike in 1982.’
    • ‘The winning design, by a largely unknown architect, was roundly condemned while initial estimates of how much the building was going to cost proved to be completely wrong.’
    • ‘All such diabolic, yet cowardly actions must be severely condemned, censured and deterred with steeled resolve and equally resolute counteraction.’
    • ‘Needless to say, Rampersad was roundly condemned and his plan is probably gathering dust somewhere in the archives.’
    • ‘Margaret Davey has been roundly condemned for her opposition to the plan (down with free speech and all that).’
    • ‘This man is the first to become a casualty of a new Australian plan to discourage smoking: a plan that has been condemned by its critics as ‘moral fascism’.’
    • ‘HE HAS survived two recent assassination attempts and been roundly condemned within his own country for the American-led war on Iraq.’
    • ‘Vandals who interfere with life-saving equipment at beaches and amenity facilities around the county have been roundly condemned by members of Mayo County Council.’
    • ‘The basic requirement is the implementation of the report into the fire service, delivered by Sir George Bain last week and roundly condemned by Gilchrist and the FBU.’
    • ‘Campaigners have condemned the Government's plans, with non-food pubs exempt from restrictions, as ‘half measures’.’
    • ‘Failure by the political parties to address the vital insurance issue in their election manifestos has been roundly condemned by the Construction Industry Federation.’
    • ‘This was roundly condemned as there was no justification for ZPA to oppose the idea and Zamtel fought and won its case at Government level.’
    • ‘But it has been roundly condemned by hoteliers, pub owners, restaurant owners and petrol forecourt owners across Scotland.’
    • ‘A decade ago Greenpeace Canada was roundly condemned by unionists and social justice groups when they fired a number of workers who were trying to organize the canvass office.’
    • ‘The killing of innocent civilians by suicide bombers must be roundly condemned.’
    • ‘Finnie's decision to reject an organic action plan has been widely condemned.’
    • ‘What violence there was has been roundly and rightly condemned by everyone from Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell to Geldof himself.’
    • ‘Mike Watson is accused of breaking ministerial code after condemning Executive plans to shake up Glasgow hospitals.’
    • ‘Bayern have been roundly condemned for paying him 6.3 million up front to ensure he joined them.’
    • ‘Anti-racism campaigners last night condemned the ‘vile’ website, while psychologists warned parents to keep a close eye on what their children viewed on the internet.’
    censure, criticize, castigate, attack, denounce, deplore, decry, revile, inveigh against, blame, chastise, berate, upbraid, reprimand, rebuke, reprove, reprehend, take to task, find fault with, give someone a bad press, give something a bad press
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  • 2Sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, especially death.

    ‘the rebels had been condemned to death’
    ‘the condemned men’
    • ‘Thirty-one persons were condemned to death and five eventually executed.’
    • ‘But during WW I, 3,082 officers and men were condemned to death, although the majority of these sentences were commuted to terms of imprisonment.’
    • ‘Brought to trial, he was condemned to death, immediately commuted to solitary confinement for life by De Gaulle.’
    • ‘‘Guilty, guilty,’ ruled the arbitrators, and condemned him to a two-year ban.’
    • ‘The teacher was condemned to death along with the other two men, but was pardoned because of his youth and was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour instead.’
    • ‘The trip from the condemned cell to the gallows was very short and there was no speech to which the condemned man had to listen whilst standing on the trap.’
    • ‘Following mass arrests, several strike leaders were condemned to death, and Mielke finally made a name for himself.’
    • ‘He was proclaimed President of the Provisional Government of Poland at the time of the Polish revolt of 1830-31, for which he was condemned to death but then escaped to Paris.’
    • ‘Here, the condemned are forced to kneel and are then dispatched with a bullet in the back of the head.’
    • ‘When he resists her attempts at seduction, he is condemned to death.’
    • ‘With the other leaders he was condemned to death by a British court martial, and executed by firing squad on 3 May 1916.’
    • ‘But if they didn't have enough victims for a good day's fun, the Romans would conveniently condemn even minor criminals to death and replenish the supply.’
    • ‘Still, man is the only prisoner who knows he is condemned to capital punishment; that the sentence is without appeal; and that it has been passed already.’
    • ‘Correct answers mean a score boost, and a tool that will help you complete your mission; incorrect ones soon add up to you being condemned to a punishment cell - and expelled from the game.’
    • ‘You are here in prison but you are not condemned to death, so you have to be protected.’
    • ‘It's all about a master criminal, a ‘remade’, a person condemned by the state to mutilation.’
    • ‘After the end of the war, the accused 984 Japanese soldiers and officers were condemned to death by special courts for their behaviour against Asian citizens and the POWs.’
    • ‘Inevitably, he was condemned to death, but was reprieved and spent his last years a prisoner on the Île d' Yeu.’
    • ‘Hours later, Buckingham was declared guilty of treason and condemned to die.’
    • ‘In January, 1917, five French soldiers are condemned to death for acts of alleged cowardice.’
    sentence, pass sentence on
    damned, doomed, lost, condemned to hell
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    1. 2.1(of circumstances) force (someone) to endure or accept something unpleasant.
      ‘the physical ailments that condemned him to a lonely childhood’
      • ‘And who can help but feel a great sympathy for those condemned by circumstance to live in such accommodation without the means to do so?’
      • ‘This demystification condemns him to a sort of living death.’
      • ‘The paradoxical tragedy of knowing this, condemns him to being given to the terrorists by his stepfather, assuring his silence this way.’
      • ‘One book I did on the Welsh borders was thought to be a wrong move by many people so I feel condemned more or less to deal with the matter and mythology of London even if it's expanding out to the fringes.’
      • ‘Those continuing to compete only locally are in grave danger of condemning themselves to long-term decline.’
      • ‘She should not be targeted by a group with an ideological agenda that may condemn her or even force her into a decision that will have lasting repercussions.’
      • ‘She could not and would not condemn him to her fate.’
      • ‘What an unfortunate fate the gods had condemned her to.’
      • ‘What Camus is saying is that man is condemned by nature and circumstances to spiritual exile, always seeking an inner kingdom in which to be reborn.’
      • ‘It is a fresh robbery of every succeeding generation - a new robbery every year and every day; it is like the robbery which condemns to slavery the children of the slave.’
      • ‘He accepts his dedication to his sport has so far condemned him to a single life.’
      • ‘Many people said it was wrong to condemn future workers to worse pension arrangements.’
      • ‘Sukur, quite rightly, stole the plaudits after his two-goal blast condemned Fulham to their joint-heaviest defeat under Tigana.’
      • ‘Racism is wrong because it condemns somebody because of their skin colour, for which they cannot be held responsible.’
      • ‘The demon that fell in love with me so many years ago, that helped condemn me to this fate, was standing right here talking to me.’
      doom, destine, damn, foredoom, foreordain, mark someone out for
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    2. 2.2Prove or show to be guilty or unsatisfactory.
      ‘she could see in his eyes that her stumble had condemned her’
      • ‘The organisation's evidence condemned the unwritten principles that seem to underpin the draft bill.’
      • ‘Detectives were forced to put together a ‘magic circle’ of circumstantial evidence which would condemn Stone.’
      • ‘The scientific evidence condemns the company:’
      • ‘But Professor Brown's evidence condemns that, does it not?’
      • ‘The Defendants contend that Irving stands condemned as a denier out of his own mouth.’
      • ‘While such a voyage is plausible, the complete lack of evidence condemns it to remain conjecture.’
      • ‘This evidence condemns all uses of PVC in construction, hospital, food contact, or any other use.’
      • ‘The practice of psychiatry has at its core the one-toone encounter between doctor and patient, and to offer a diagnosis on lesser evidence condemns psychiatry as a form of idle gossip.’
      incriminate, prove to be guilty, prove one's guilt, implicate
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    3. 2.3Officially declare (something) to be unfit for use.
      ‘the pool has been condemned as a health hazard’
      • ‘The bridge was immediately closed, and a second opinion sought before it was officially condemned.’
      • ‘In their opinion, the justices noted that state legislatures are free to pass laws that bar officials from condemning property for private development.’
      • ‘Read about how to buy condemned properties or a fixer-upper and make it worth your time and money.’
      • ‘After a month of operations, only two of the eight original aircraft were still operational, and even they were eventually condemned as unfit for service.’
      • ‘Including the cost of repairing, replacing or renewing any defective part or parts condemned solely in consequence of the discovery therein during the period of this policy of a latent defect.’
      • ‘PTA vice president Bissoondath Goorcharan said the Ministry of Health condemned the building several months ago.’
      • ‘Gardai operate at present from premises at Walsh Street in the town that have been roundly condemned for years past.’
      • ‘A host of international covenants and national laws already condemn and outlaw trafficking, and that is good.’
      • ‘An investigation by a South Yorkshire environmental health team which revealed condemned meat was being siphoned back into the food chain is to feature on TV.’
      • ‘We will argue that courts should award full fair market value for property condemned by government and that such value must not be lowered.’
      • ‘Now the plan has been shelved but the clinic, which has to vacate its current premises after they were condemned by health and safety inspectors, still needs to find a new home.’
      • ‘Full weight must be given to the consequence of goods being forfeited and condemned as forfeited.’
      • ‘Parents fighting for a new nursery at a Keighley school fear children whose classroom has been condemned will be forced into a corridor next term.’
      • ‘How do I know that my property has been condemned?’
      • ‘Condemned buildings are common to explorers but are a hazard and can cause trouble for some.’
      • ‘They can take a buyout package and get out of the way of the bulldozers, or wait for the city to condemn their property and force them out.’
      declare unfit, declare unsafe
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Middle English (in condemn): from Old French condemner, from Latin condemnare, from con- (expressing intensive force) + damnare inflict loss on (see damn).