from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To express strong disapproval of: synonym: criticize.
  • transitive verb To pronounce judgment against; sentence.
  • transitive verb To judge or declare to be unfit for use or consumption, usually by official order.
  • transitive verb To force (someone) to experience, endure, or do something.
  • transitive verb To lend credence to or provide evidence for an adverse judgment against.
  • transitive verb Law To appropriate (property) for public use.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pronounce judgment against; express or feel strong disapprobation of; hold to be positively wrong, reprehensible, intolerable, etc.: used either of persons or things, with as, for, or on account of before an expressed ground of condemnation: as, to condemn a person for bad conduct, or as (sometimes colloquially for) a blackguard; to condemn an action for or on account of its injurious tendency.
  • To serve for the condemnation of; afford occasion for condemning: as, his very looks condemn him.
  • To convict: with of.
  • To pronounce to be guilty, as opposed to acquit or absolve; more specifically, to sentence to punishment; utter sentence against judicially; doom: the penalty, when expressed, being in the infinitive, or a noun or noun-phrase preceded by to: as, to condemn a person to pay a fine, or to imprisonment.
  • [Formerly the expression to condemn in a fine was used.
  • To demonstrate the guilt of, by comparison and contrast.
  • To judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service: as, the ship was condemned as unseaworthy; the provisions were condemned by the commissary.
  • To judge or pronounce to be forfeited; specifically, to declare (a vessel) a lawful prize: as, the ship and her cargo were condemned.
  • To pronounce, by judicial authority, subject to use for a public purpose. See condemnation, 1 .

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To pronounce to be wrong; to disapprove of; to censure.
  • transitive verb To declare the guilt of; to make manifest the faults or unworthiness of; to convict of guilt.
  • transitive verb To pronounce a judicial sentence against; to sentence to punishment, suffering, or loss; to doom; -- with to before the penalty.
  • transitive verb To amerce or fine; -- with in before the penalty.
  • transitive verb To adjudge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service; to adjudge or pronounce to be forfeited.
  • transitive verb (Law) To doom to be taken for public use, under the right of eminent domain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To confer some sort of eternal divine punishment upon.
  • verb transitive To adjudge (a building) as being unfit for habitation.
  • verb transitive To scold sharply; to excoriate the perpetrators of.
  • verb transitive To judicially pronounce (someone) guilty.
  • verb transitive To determine and declare (property) to be assigned to public use. See eminent domain
  • verb transitive To adjudge (food or drink) as being unfit for human consumption.
  • verb transitive, law To declare (a vessel) to be forfeited to the government, to be a prize, or to be unfit for service.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb declare or judge unfit for use or habitation
  • verb appropriate (property) for public use
  • verb demonstrate the guilt of (someone)
  • verb pronounce a sentence on (somebody) in a court of law
  • verb compel or force into a particular state or activity
  • verb express strong disapproval of


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English condemnen, from Old French condemner, from Latin condemnāre : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + damnāre, to sentence (from damnum, penalty).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin condemnare ("to sentence, condemn, blame"), from com- + damnare ("to harm, condemn, damn"), from damnum ("loss").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word condemn.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "What do you advise in reference to the complaint?" --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013