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.

Definitions of denounce
  1. verb
    speak out against
    “He denounced the Nazis”
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    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
  2. verb
    accuse or condemn openly or formally as disgraceful
    “He denounced the government action”
    synonyms: brand, mark, stigmatise, stigmatize
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    type of:
    assign a label to; designate with a label
  3. verb
    give away information about somebody
    synonyms: betray, give away, grass, rat, shop, snitch, stag, tell on
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    sell out
    give information that compromises others
    type of:
    impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
  4. verb
    announce the termination of, as of treaties
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    type of:
    announce, denote
    make known; make an announcement
Word Family

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