Condemn vs. condone

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To condemn is to express strong disapproval. To condone is to overlook or forgive. Although the two words are antonyms, they are easily mixed up because of their similarity in sound and their frequent association with each other.

Condemnation is condemn‘s corresponding noun. The best we have for condone is the participial noun condoning.



The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms. [Hamilton Spectator]

Asked whether Congress might pass a resolution condemning the burning, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said, “We’ll take a look at this.” [New York Daily News]

Once again, Dylan has embarked on a path that has provoked scorn and condemnation. [Sydney Morning Herald]


Rather than condone social networking as distracting, he encourages its use during classes to stimulate discussion and allow the students to share ideas. [Financial Times]

He denies the charges and said he has never condoned the kind of violence perpetrated by the Maoist guerrillas. [CNN]

Both Indian and Iranian officials have gone on public record condoning hackers who work in the state’s interest. [CTV (link now dead)]