To denounce is to tattle, rat out, or speak out against something. When you stand on your desk and tell the class that your partner is cheating, you denounce him or her.

The prefix de- means "down," as in destroy or demolish (tear down). Add that to the Latin root nuntiare, meaning "announce," and de- plus announce equals denounce. It's a word that shows up in the headlines often, as a country might denounce a corrupt election. Politicians love to denounce the shady behavior or their opponents. Denounce can also mean the official end of something, like a treaty.

Primary Meanings of denounce

speak out against
announce the termination of, as of treaties
Full Definitions of denounce

v speak out against

“He denounced the Nazis”
fulminate, rail
criticize severely
condemn, decry, excoriate, objurgate, reprobate
express strong disapproval of
Type of:
criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws

v accuse or condemn or openly or formally or brand as disgraceful

“He denounced the government action”
brand, mark, stigmatise, stigmatize
Type of:
assign a label to; designate with a label

v give away information about somebody

betray, give away, grass, rat, shop, snitch, stag, tell on
sell out
give information that compromises others
Type of:
impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

v announce the termination of, as of treaties

Type of:
announce, denote
make known; make an announcement

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