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 This was still alarming, even with the qualification, but at least the specter of the syringe had been banished. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "On the Bleach," 29 Apr. 2020 There’s a better chance of Zion Williamson being named NCAA president than of the California schools being banished. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: NCAA targets California schools over legislation while Pac-12 Team Green works for real change," 25 June 2019 While some scents, like lavender and bergamot, promote sleep, citrusy aromas like grapefruit immediately banish feelings of sleepiness and sluggishness. Hillary Maglin, Travel + Leisure, "Switch Up Your Morning Routine With These 9 Energy-boosting Products," 15 Apr. 2020 Bowen was essentially banished from college basketball. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Christian Dawkins shares his story in 'The Scheme.' Here's what he says about Louisville," 1 Apr. 2020 Still, Rose, like the Black Sox, was banished for life, which makes him, like Joe Jackson, ineligible for the Hall of Fame. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, "Say It Is So: Baseball’s Disgrace," 20 Feb. 2020 Two elections ago, in 2015, the S.N.P. virtually banished Labour from Scotland, stripping the Party of around forty M.P.s. By Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Boris Johnson Wins, and Britain Chooses the Devil It Knows," 13 Dec. 2019 Look no further than this 17th century slow burn starring modern-day scream queen Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin, a girl whose family is banished from Plymouth Colony and forced to move to the other side of a dense, New England forest. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "13 Scariest Horror Movie Scenes," 31 Oct. 2019 Richard Stallman, the 66-year-old programmer and animating spirit behind the free-software movement, was banished this week. Wired, "Richard Stallman’s Exit Heralds a New Era in Tech," 22 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.

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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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Banish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 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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