V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to condemn or harshly criticize publicly--to speak out against; 2. to publicly accuse someone of something

Synonyms: accuse, castigate, censure, condemn, decry, excoriate, assail

Antonyms: champion, encourage

Tips: Denounce comes from the Latin word denuntiare, "to report." Some of this sense is retained in its modern meaning, which carries a connotation of publicly revealing (or reporting) something bad about someone or something, usually with details to show how bad it is. To denounce also means "to speak out against something." Politicians are always being asked to denounce (speak out against, condemn) something that one of their staff members or someone from their party did or said that was inappropriate. Denounce and condemn are synonymous. Denounce means "to openly and publicly criticize," while condemn means "to openly and publicly pronounce someone as guilty of something bad." For a memory trick, note how denounce sounds like "Dean Ounce." Now, imagine your High School dean is Dean Ounce, and he is denouncing (publicly criticizing) your friend' s bad behavior in front of everyone, and is giving him detention for littering on school grounds.

Usage Examples:

The Senator was forced to resign from office after he was denounced by his colleagues for taking bribes. (censured, condemned)

Jim threatened to denounce Ken to their boss unless Ken put back the money he had taken from the cash register. (accuse)

The congressman denounced the actions of his party and stormed out of the conference hall. (condemned, decried)

If he wants my vote, he'll have to denounce the attack ads against his opponent, which the special interest groups have been running on his behalf. (condemn, speak out against)

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