ban·​ish | \ ˈba-nish How to pronounce banish (audio) \
banished; banishing; banishes

Definition of banish

transitive verb

1 : to require by authority to leave a country a dictator who banishes anyone who opposes him
2 : to drive out or remove from a home or place of usual resort or continuance He was banished from court. banishing her from the sport The reporters were banished to another room.
3 : to clear away : dispel his discovery banishes anxiety— Stringfellow Barr

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from banish

banisher noun
banishment \ ˈba-​nish-​mənt How to pronounce banishment (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for banish

banish, exile, deport, transport mean to remove by authority from a state or country. banish implies compulsory removal from a country not necessarily one's own. banished for seditious activities exile may imply compulsory removal or an enforced or voluntary absence from one's own country. a writer who exiled himself for political reasons deport implies sending out of the country an alien who has illegally entered or whose presence is judged inimical to the public welfare. illegal aliens will be deported transport implies sending a convicted criminal to an overseas penal colony. a convict who was transported to Australia

Examples of banish in a Sentence

He was banished for life. The dictator banished anyone who opposed him.
Recent Examples on the Web Native people were pushed out of their homes, killed, and banished to the unfavorable lands in the West that were devoid of fertility and vitality. Taina Mcfield, Essence, "My True Independence Day Hasn't Arrived Yet," 4 July 2019 In 2007, Bannister’s first season in Kansas City, Greinke recorded a 5.71 ERA through his first seven starts and was banished to the bullpen. Ben Lindbergh And Travis Sawchik,, "How MLB Washout Brian Bannister Became the Red Sox' Pitching Guru," 7 June 2019 So, banish all credit cards from your wallet if your goal is to save money. Jelena Kecmanovic, Quartz, "Rules for resolutions: 7 ways to make commitments you’ll keep," 31 Dec. 2019 During that time, the mask will overly hydrate the lips and banish flakiness, while also plumping and reducing fine lines. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Tatcha's best-selling lip mask is finally back in stock," 26 Dec. 2019 So, banish all credit cards from your wallet if your goal is to save money. Jelena Kecmanovic, The Conversation, "7 science-based strategies to boost your willpower and succeed with your New Year’s resolutions," 17 Dec. 2019 These new policies won't just banish disposable coffee cups from campus, but a lot of everyday scientific equipment too. Alice Bell, CNN, "Can science break its plastic addiction?," 5 Nov. 2019 The Heat banished forward James Johnson from training camp on the Sept. 30 eve of those sessions at Kaiser University in West Palm Beach, with Johnson only recently reinstated. Ira Winderman,, "Dion Waiters apparently again remains a weighty issue for Heat," 31 Oct. 2019 A year ago, Gruden banished Khalil Mack, one of the best pass-rushers in the league. Ann Killion,, "Was Antonio Brown saga a ploy? A Patriots game? Or just Raiders as usual?," 7 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'banish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of banish

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for banish

Middle English, from Anglo-French baniss-, stem of banir, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German bannan to command — more at ban

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about banish

Time Traveler for banish

Time Traveler

The first known use of banish was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for banish

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Banish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for banish


How to pronounce banish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of banish

: to force (someone) to leave a country as punishment
: to send (someone or something) away
: to cause (something) to go away : to get rid of (something)


ban·​ish | \ ˈba-nish How to pronounce banish (audio) \
banished; banishing

Kids Definition of banish

1 : to force to leave a country
2 : to cause to go away banish fears

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on banish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for banish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with banish

Spanish Central: Translation of banish

Nglish: Translation of banish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of banish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on banish

What made you want to look up banish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!