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

Examples of exile in a Sentence

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
State media reported earlier this week Navalny’s brother, believed to be hiding in exile, is facing new charges back in Russia. James Farrell, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 This painting was made four years after the coup, when Vicuña was living in exile in Bogotá, Colombia. Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2024 These groups, which support the National Unity Government in exile, and ethnic rebel armies have taken control of hundreds of strategic border towns, key military positions and vital trade routes since launching an offensive last October. Helen Regan, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 Contemporary Anglo-American audiences tend to think of Nabokov and Ivan Bunin as the quintessential Russian writers in exile, but for nineteenth-century Russian readers the principal figures of this variety were Alexander Herzen and Turgenev. The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 As the third year of the war nears, Mr. Putin’s control of domestic politics appears nearly total, with his most prominent surviving opponents either in jail or in exile. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2024 In his signature defiant but sarcastic style, Navalny detailed the realities of the Russian penitentiary system and promoted new anti-corruption investigations his team had been working on in exile. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 16 Feb. 2024 Thaksin was sentenced to eight years in jail on graft charges on his return from 15 years in self exile. TIME, 13 Feb. 2024 Sharif is the preferred candidate of Pakistan’s powerful military, which, despite backing his ouster thrice in the past, recently allowed the 74-year-old back from exile in the U.K., quashed his corruption conviction, and repealed his lifetime ban from politics. TIME, 9 Feb. 2024
Verb
With Navalny’s wife and team exiled from Russia, the duty of collecting his body and planning a funeral has fallen to his mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya. Darya Tarasova, CNN, 24 Feb. 2024 For Twitter exiles weary of how Elon Musk has decimated that platform, Bluesky was their answer. Jason Parham, WIRED, 19 Feb. 2024 Navalny’s unstoppable social media presence became especially important after Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine when the Kremlin took steps to silence or exile all opposition forces. Andrei Soldatov, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2024 The couple survive the assassination attempt and exile themselves soon after. Arturo Conde, NBC News, 14 Feb. 2024 Now the government and lawmakers find themselves with a dilemma of their own making: The old scapegoats are in jail, exiled, or otherwise barred from meaningful political participation, so officials need new culprits to pin their underperformance on. Timothy McLaughlin, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024 Then in 2015 came a show called Schitt’s Creek about a formerly rich family exiled to a small, rural town. Jason Sheeler, Peoplemag, 10 Jan. 2024 Haunted by the decision to exile Danny, to nearly kill herself by sharing her rations with him. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Jan. 2024 Pétain was exiled to a tiny island, the Île d’Yeu, off the French Atlantic coast, where he was visited by admirers but suffered increasing lapses of memory until his death in 1951, at the age of ninety-five. Robert O. Paxton, Harper's Magazine, 17 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 1 Mar. 2024.

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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