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 banish (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 Their feud in the pages of the London Review of Books a decade ago helped shoot Mishra to greater prominence and further banish Ferguson from the circles of polite liberal conversation. Kanishk Tharoor, The New Republic, "Pankaj Mishra’s Reckoning With Liberalism’s Bloody Past," 22 Feb. 2021 But as Congress tries to hold Trump accountable for his actions, Thompson sees an agenda to banish the former president from politics and return the party to establishment figures such as Thune, the second-ranking GOP leader in the Senate. Stephen Groves, Star Tribune, "Trump loyalists in South Dakota turn on home state senator," 31 Jan. 2021 Although Einstein attempted to banish demons from science, in his wake these creatures managed to creep into a dizzying number of research fields. Washington Post, "The shadowy spirits that helped advance science," 24 Dec. 2020 Both have created caricatures of the imaginary power of the left to expel, banish, or punish. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, "A Black Lives Matter Founder on Building Modern Movements," 18 Jan. 2021 This is the active ingredient (approved by the FDA for treating psoriasis) in treatments that can help banish scales by softening them and making the outer layer of skin shed. Lisa Bain, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Lotions and Creams to Help Ease Psoriasis," 17 Dec. 2020 The Public Advocates shouldn’t be part of the Sierra Club’s campaign to banish fossil fuels, and ratepayers certainly shouldn’t be made to bankroll it. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Now We’re Cooking With Gas. But Tomorrow?," 16 Dec. 2020 But with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy increasingly bogged down in a scrap against the murky political system he was elected to banish, there’s a window to tap into growing disillusionment. Ilya Arkhipov,, "Putin’s Man in Ukraine Is Making Gains Even as War Grinds On," 23 Dec. 2020 Supporters say the accords recognize the reality on the ground and seek to banish age-old enmities to the past. Joseph Krauss, ajc, "Kushner joins Israelis on landmark visit to Morocco," 22 Dec. 2020

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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Learn More about banish

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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Banish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on banish

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