early 15c., "rejected as worthless," from Late Latin reprobatus, past participle of reprobare "disapprove, reject, condemn," from Latin re- "back, again," here perhaps indicating "opposite of, reversal of previous condition" (see re-) + probare "prove to be worthy" (see probate (n.)). The meaning "abandoned in character, morally depraved, unprincipled" is by 1650s.
as an intensive execration, "odious, detestable, damned," 1650s, past-participle adjective from confound in its older sense of "condemn, curse," which came to be considered "a milder form of imprecation" [OED]. It is perhaps a euphemism for damned. The sense of "put to mental confusion" is recorded from mid-14c.
Middle English dampnen, also damnen, dammen, late 13c. as a legal term, "to condemn, declare guilty, convict;" c. 1300 in the theological sense of "doom to punishment in a future state," from Old French damner "damn, condemn; convict, blame; injure," derivative of Latin damnare "to adjudge guilty; to doom; to condemn, blame, reject," from noun damnum "damage, hurt, harm; loss, injury; a fine, penalty," from Proto-Italic *dapno-, possibly from an ancient religious term from PIE *dap- "to apportion in exchange" [Watkins] or *dhp-no- "expense, investment" [de Vaan]. The -p- in the English word disappeared 16c.
The legal meaning "pronounce judgment upon" evolved in the Latin word. The optative expletive use likely is as old as the theological sense. Damn and its derivatives generally were avoided in print from 18c. to 1930s (the famous line in the film version of "Gone with the Wind" was a breakthrough and required much effort by the studio). Meaning "judge or pronounce (a work) to be bad by public expression" is from 1650s; to damn with faint praise is from Pope.
The noun is recorded from 1610s, "utterance of the word 'damn.'" To be not worth a damn is from 1817. To not give (or care) a damn is by 1760. The adjective is 1775, short for damned; Damn Yankee, the characteristic Southern U.S. term for "Northerner," is attested by 1812 (as damned). Related: Damning.
c. 1400, reprobacioun, "rejection," from Church Latin reprobationem (nominative reprobatio) "rejection, reprobation," noun of action from past-participle stem of reprobare "disapprove, reject, condemn" (see reprobate (adj.)).
In theology, "the state of being consigned to eternal punishment" (1530s). From 1580s as "condemnation as worthless or spurious;" the broad sense of "condemnation, censure, act of vehemently disapproving" is from 1727. Other nouns that have been used in English include reprobacy (1590s), reprobance (c. 1600), reprobature (1680s, legal).
c. 1300, dampnacioun, "condemnation to Hell by God," also "fact of being condemned by judicial sentence," from Old French damnation, from Latin damnationem (nominative damnatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of damnare "to doom, condemn" (see damn). As an imprecation, attested from c. 1600.
Damnation follows death in other men,
But your damn'd Poet lives and writes agen.
[Pope, letter to Henry Cromwell, 1707 or 1708]
c. 1200, "find fault with" (opposed to praise, commend); c. 1300, "lay responsibility on for something deemed wrong," from Old French blasmer (12c., Modern French blâmer) "to rebuke, reprimand, condemn, criticize," from Vulgar Latin *blastemare, from Late Latin blasphemare "to blaspheme, to speak lightly or amiss of God or sacred things," which also had a sense of "revile, reproach" (see blaspheme). Replaced Old English witan (with long "i"). Related: Blamed; blaming.
early 15c., enquery, "a judicial examination of facts to determine truth;" mid-15c. in general sense "attempt to learn something, act or fact of inquiring," probably an Anglo-French noun developed from enqueren "to inquire" (see inquire). Respelled from mid-16c. to conform to Latin.
There is one word of caution, however, to be given to those who renounce inquiry; it is that they cannot retain the right to condemn inquirers. [Benjamin Jowett, "On the Interpretation of Scripture," in "Essays and Reviews," 1860]
Men condemn corsets in the abstract, and are sometimes brave enough to insist that the women of their households shall be emancipated from them; and yet their eyes have been so generally educated to the approval of the small waist, and the hourglass figure, that they often hinder women who seek a hygienic style of dress. [Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, "The Story of My Life," 1898]
early 15c., proscriben, "write before or in front, prefix," from Latin proscribere "publish in writing" (literally "write in front of"), including "publish as having forfeited one's property; condemn, outlaw before the world," from pro "before" (see pro-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").
From mid-15c. as "to exile, put out of the protection of the law" (implied in proscribed). By 1550s as "publish the name of as condemned to death and liable to confiscation of property." The meaning "denounce and prohibit (something) as wrong or dangerous" is recorded by 1620s.