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From Old French denuncier, from Latin dēnūntiō (to announce, to denounce, to threaten), from de + nūntiō (to announce, to report, to denounce), from nūntius (messenger, message).


  • IPA(key): /diˈnaʊns/, /dəˈnaʊns/
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  • Rhymes: -aʊns


denounce (third-person singular simple present denounces, present participle denouncing, simple past and past participle denounced)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To make known in a formal manner; to proclaim; to announce; to declare.
  2. (transitive) To criticize or speak out against (someone or something); to point out as deserving of reprehension, etc.; to openly accuse or condemn in a threatening manner; to invoke censure upon; to stigmatize; to blame.
    to denounce someone as a swindler, or as a coward
    • 2013 May 23, Sarah Lyall, “British Leader’s Liberal Turn Sets Off a Rebellion in His Party”, in New York Times, retrieved 29 May 2013:
      Mr. Cameron had a respite Thursday from the negative chatter swirling around him when he appeared outside 10 Downing Street to denounce the murder a day before of a British soldier on a London street.
    • 2024 February 7, Mel Holley, “Network News: LNER ditches Off-Peak for 70min semi-flexible fare”, in RAIL, number 1002, page 6:
      It is the latest step towards an airline-style advance booking-only system, which rail users have denounced as signalling the end of affordable, immediate travel.
  3. (transitive) To make a formal or public accusation against; to inform against; to accuse.
    to denounce a confederate in crime
    to denounce someone to the authorities
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To proclaim in a threatening manner; to threaten by some outward sign or expression; make a menace of.
    to denounce war; to denounce punishment
  5. (transitive) To announce the termination of; especially a treaty or armistice.
    • 2020 December 29, Matthew Scott, “How could Priti Patel reintroduce the death penalty?”, in BarristerBlogger[1] (blog), archived from the original on 30 December 2020:
      It would be possible to “denounce” (leave) the Convention altogether, but short of that, legislation to restore the death penalty would place the UK government in breach of its treaty obligations under the ECHR; it would breach international law.
    • 2021, Legislative Council of Hong Kong, “Sale of Goods (United Nations Convention) Ordinance”, in Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Gazette[2], page A3313:
      A Contracting State may denounce this Convention, or Part II or Part III of the Convention, by a formal notification in writing addressed to the depositary.
  6. (US, historical) To claim the right of working a mine that is abandoned or insufficiently worked.


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Terms related via Latin nūntiō