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

Psychologically, players banish pain to the far corners of their minds. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: Clint Boling is walking away at the right time, for the right reasons," 15 July 2019 And so Cross Plains banished Howard from its communal memory. John J. Miller, National Review, "The Fantastic Robert E. Howard," 11 July 2019 Soup is banished and so is Roscuro, by an angry princess; meanwhile, Despereaux is likewise exiled, and his own link to the princess sets up an eventual rodent showdown, complete with heroics and redemption. San Diego Union-Tribune, "PigPen Theatre is back at the Old Globe Theatre with world-premiere musical adaptation ‘The Tale of Despereaux’," 7 July 2019 Getting banished and battling back has endeared Cliff to the houseguests. Dalton Ross,, "Big Brother producer teases brand-new twist for the show," 27 June 2019 The Hall of Fame trainer was banished from all Stronach tracks last weekend after a fourth horse under his care died at Santa Anita. John Cherwa,, "Breeders’ Cup board agrees to keep this year’s event at Santa Anita," 27 June 2019 Even a 5% increase slowly banishes citizens from our town, with no regard to bonds to the community. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Could homeowners stay if mortgages rose as rents do?," 26 June 2019 The way to make this situation worthwhile isn’t for Stevens to be banished and forgotten, and for the NBA to treat his shove like an isolated incident. Rohan Nadkarni,, "Is a One-Year Ban Enough for the Warriors' Part-Owner Who Shoved Kyle Lowry?," 6 June 2019 Men such as Kevin Spacey and Bill O’Reilly are still banished from film and media, and have decamped to their mansions. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Harvey Weinstein's Arrest Is Just the Opening Scene," 31 May 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

20 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with banish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for banish

Spanish Central: Translation of banish

Nglish: Translation of banish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of banish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on banish

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something desired as essential

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