exile

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: the state or a period of forced absence from one's country or home
b
: the state or a period of voluntary absence from one's country or home
2
: a person who is in exile
exilic adjective

exile

2 of 2

verb

exiled; exiling

transitive verb

: to banish or expel from one's own country or home
Choose the Right Synonym for exile

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

Example Sentences

Noun They hoped that his exile would be temporary. Many chose to live as exiles rather than face persecution. Verb with their conquest of the Moors complete, Ferdinand and Isabella next exiled the Jews from Spain
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
After leaving Vietnam during the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Captain becomes enmeshed in the Southern California exile community and serves as a cultural adviser to an American film about the war. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Nov. 2022 In the moment, the battle over Elián González was a hugely impactful struggle for those who lived it and for Miami’s Cuban exile community. Christine Dolen, Sun Sentinel, 8 Nov. 2022 Vladimir Lenin, living in exile in Europe, sent an urgent appeal to his fellow Bolsheviks to travel to Persia and join the struggle against the shah. Reza Aslan, Time, 8 Oct. 2022 When Flores Magón was forced into exile in the United States and Canada, Regeneración was published and distributed from cities across North America. Geraldo Cadava, The New Yorker, 5 Oct. 2022 Both women are relatively prominent in the Nicaraguan exile community in San José, a group whose numbers have surged recently. Natalie Gallón, CNN, 8 Nov. 2021 When Gil and Veloso, the leading songwriters of tropicália, were forced into exile by Brazil's 1969-1972 dictatorship, Costa recorded their songs for Brazilian listeners. Marisa Sullivan, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2022 These features included a collectivist approach to rehabilitation, penal labor, and exile to remote locations. Armani Syed, Time, 9 Nov. 2022 Cam Akers returned from a two-plus week exile and played for the first time since an Oct. 9 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2022
Verb
Unfortunately for Sunak, there is no Saint Helena equivalent on which to exile such an adversary. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 24 Oct. 2022 Eventually, Edward caved and agreed to strip Piers of his title as earl of Cornwall and exile him. Anne Thériault, Longreads, 21 June 2022 In a country where conservative politicians and voters loudly express their concern for Mr. Petro’s leftist roots, some Colombians say that his victory may lead them to exile. Juan Forero, WSJ, 20 June 2022 But then this played out beautifully with him being sent to exile in Italy to live in his shame. Ramin Setoodeh, Variety, 10 June 2022 For his revolutionary poetry, Shevchenko was sentenced to exile as a private in the Russian army. Sasha Dovzhyk, CNN, 11 May 2022 The losses of invaders are as nothing next to the sufferings of ordinary Ukrainians, destroyed in their homes or starved to death; forced, if spared, to trek hundreds of miles to exile with only a few handheld bags per family. Nr Editors, National Review, 31 Mar. 2022 Charismatic and earnest, she was adored for her image as a Decembrist’s wife — women who had given up their lives and followed their husbands to exile in Siberia. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Kramer fired him and Foreman, now blacklisted, fled to exile in England. Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English exil, from Anglo-French essil, exil, from Latin exilium, from exul, exsul an exile

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exile was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near exile

Cite this Entry

“Exile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exile. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

exile 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: an act or instance of being forced to leave one's country or home
also : voluntary absence from one's country or home
b
: the state of one so absent
2
: a person who is in exile

exile

2 of 2

verb

exiled; exiling
: to force to leave one's own country or home

More from Merriam-Webster on exile

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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