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 Will the authorities condition their aid on requirements that companies avoid layoffs? Will governments permanently banish austerity, concluding that excessive budget-cutting has left national health systems especially vulnerable to the virus? Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Europe’s Leaders Ditch Austerity and Fight Pandemic With Cash," 26 Mar. 2020 Churches are closing, casinos are being shuttered, TV shows have banished studio audiences, and states have enacted prohibitions on large gatherings. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "With the sports world shutting down for coronavirus, here’s why one college wrestling tournament decided to keep going," 14 Mar. 2020 San Francisco also banished cars from Market Street in late January, a change that increased traffic only marginally on surrounding roads, Inrix concluded. Rachel Swan,, "Bay Area 7th in nation for worst traffic — but it’s gotten better," 8 Mar. 2020 On Sunday, March 1, New York State’s plastic bag ban went into effect, banishing all single-use plastic shopping bags from grocery stores and other retailers. Chloe Malle, Vogue, "9 Chic Ways to Embrace New York’s Plastic Bag Ban," 1 Mar. 2020 Now Google has once again baffled industry watchers by once again banishing the app without saying why. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "The strange, unexplained journey of ToTok in Google Play fuels user suspicions," 21 Feb. 2020 After the deadly white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Google, Facebook and PayPal began banishing extremist groups and people who identified as or supported white supremacists. Washington Post, "Facebook takes down anti-Semitic page, governor says," 5 Feb. 2020 Leave it to a magazine editor to know what parts of a story are worth saving, what lines demand reworking, and what needs to be chiseled out and banished forever. Kathryn O’shea-evans, House Beautiful, "How the Editor of Good Housekeeping Renovated a Gorgeous Victorian House," 30 Dec. 2019 Catrina Popelier is a nurse, but banish the mental image of hospital scrubs or a starched-white uniform. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "Faces of child welfare | Catrina Popelier: 'You take care of the mom, you take care of the baby'," 24 Dec. 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

29 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Banish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 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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