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

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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 Effective Wednesday, private cars have been banished from most of Market Street, the major thoroughfare that slices southwest through the heart of the city. Alex Davies, Wired, "San Francisco Joins the Move to Ban Cars From a Major Street," 29 Jan. 2020 Plastic straws are out, too — banished from restaurants by the end of the year. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Captain Davos: CEOs urged to lead in sustainability," 23 Jan. 2020 Two years later, Tom Hooper's Cats has been banished to the litter box at the year-end box office despite a PG rating, the same as Greatest Showman, after being rejected by families. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "'Cats' Box Office Bust: A Tale Spurned by Families," 31 Dec. 2019 Those arriving by boat since 2013 have been banished to immigration camps in the poor Pacific island nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru, where hundreds still languish. Fox News, "Australian government created fake, negative horoscopes to deter Sri Lankan asylum-seekers," 18 Dec. 2019 But it almost was banished to the late hours of the night, according to Gasteyer. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "SNL boss Lorne Michaels fought to air 'Schweddy Balls' early in the show," 11 Dec. 2019 Instead, they were immediately banished, sending many of their lives into turmoil. Washington Post, "Fifty years after the ‘Black 14’ were banished, Wyoming football reckons with the past," 1 Dec. 2019 He was banished from training camp on Sept. 30 after failing to meet the team's conditioning standards. Ira Winderman,, "James Johnson makes weight for Heat; Dion Waiters left behind," 30 Oct. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for banish

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for banish

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Banish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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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

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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

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