ban·ish | \ ˈba-nish \
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

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Other words from banish

banisher noun
banishment \ˈba-nish-mənt \ 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

The couple hired contractors to break up the concrete floor with jackhammers and install French drains beneath a new floor with a radiant heating system, which banished the indoor stream. Tim Mckeough, New York Times, "In the Hudson Valley, a Home With Centuries’ Worth of Stories," 3 July 2018 Remembering sympathetic magick, the waning moon is great for banishing work, or cutting cords with a past lover. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "How to Harness the Magical Power of Each Moon Phase," 3 July 2018 But citing several reasons, council members insisted that either the art show be canceled or the artists banished. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "How a baseball painting launched a culture war | Frank's Place," 25 May 2018 Compost that mushy produce ASAP; then try one of these effective remedies to banish fruit flies from your kitchen. 1. Lauren Piro, Good Housekeeping, "7 Genius Ways to Kill Fruit Flies," 7 May 2018 This is a great place to start, because Paul Rudd has always been a surly teen banished to a grown man's body, with the mannerisms of a 5-year-old (who can relate?). Joshua Rivera, GQ, "Ant-Man and the Wasp," 5 July 2018 The United States has promised to resettle up to 1,250 refugees that Australia has banished to Nauru and the poor South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea. Rod Mcguirk, Fox News, "Nauru criticized for banning Australian state broadcaster," 4 July 2018 Privacy - Terms Contestants are eliminated either by leaving voluntarily or getting banished for breaking the rules. Conner Mitchell, kansascity, "After winning Miss Missouri, Lee's Summit woman faces a new contest: 'Big Brother'," 26 June 2018 Fed up with failures, the Orioles banish pitcher Dennis Martinez (4-11) to the bullpen and ship Leo Hernandez, their sieve-handed third baseman, to the minors. Mike Klingaman,, "Remembering 1983: A look at the Orioles' world championship for the week of June 24-30," 24 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for banish

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for banish

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

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More Definitions for banish



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 \
banished; banishing

Kids Definition of banish

1 : to force to leave a country

2 : to cause to go away banish fears

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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