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 VentiFresh, inspired by NASA’s work for astronauts aboard the International Space Station, uses a photocatalyst technology to banish bad smells from your home. Popular Science, "Check out the best deals on home gadgets this week," 3 Sep. 2020 His transgression infuriated the rest of the clubhouse, prompting the Indians to banish him to the minor-league complex for nearly two weeks. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Padres Go All-In on a World Series Run," 31 Aug. 2020 Could the Miami Dolphins banish one of their three quarterbacks away from teammates, or the team facility altogether, to ensure the team will not be in a bind if the other quarterbacks come down with COVID-19? Safid Deen,, "Could the Dolphins quarantine Fitzpatrick, Tagovailoa or Rosen? Flores has looked into it," 10 Aug. 2020 Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has urged U.S. companies to bar Chinese applications from their app stores, part of Washington’s push to banish Chinese technology from American computers and smartphones. Fortune, "China says it has no interest in a ‘new Cold War’ with U.S.," 6 Aug. 2020 After finally killing Merrick and his forces in the laboratory, the immortals banish Booker for 100 years to pay the price for nearly betraying them. Ashley Chervinski,, "The End Of The Old Guard Practically Promises A Sequel — Will Netflix Give Us One?," 13 July 2020 Apotropaic objects, symbols that banish bad spirits, have been with humans for thousands of years. National Geographic, "From evil eyes to sacred hearts, a look at lucky charms around the world," 9 June 2020 By contrast, West Germany moved in 1949 to banish any remembrance of Nazism. Tim Lister, CNN, "Cathartic acts of rage, or the rewriting of history? How statues became political lightning rods," 14 June 2020 Just a few more fjords to the east is Cape Farewell, where Erik the Red, banished from Iceland, established the first nonnative settlement on Greenland a thousand years ago. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "A Boat Hunt for Musk Ox and Caribou in Greenland," 21 Feb. 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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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

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Banish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 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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