os·​tra·​cism | \ ˈä-strə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce ostracism (audio) \

Definition of ostracism

1 : a method of temporary banishment by popular vote without trial or special accusation practiced in ancient Greece Ostracism of political opponents was a common practice in ancient Athens.
2 : exclusion by general consent from common privileges or social acceptance For years she suffered ostracism from the scientific community. Ostracism is a common fate for tell-all writers.— R. S. Coburn

Examples of ostracism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some teachers expressed suspicion about surveys, worried about compromised anonymity that would leave them vulnerable to ostracism or some form of punishment. Andres Picon, San Antonio Express-News, 21 June 2021 Cancel culture refers to the public shaming and ostracism of people deemed to have spoken or acted in an objectionable manner. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 16 June 2021 But in serious cases, ostracism can take a heavy toll whereby victims become anxious, withdrawn, depressed, or even suicidal. Daryl Austin, The Atlantic, 26 Mar. 2021 No player has been threatened with ostracism or censure. New York Times, 19 May 2021 Supporters said transgender female athletes could have a physical advantage; opponents said the bill targets youths already at risk for suicide, ostracism and bullying. Jim Saunders, orlandosentinel.com, 1 May 2021 Public ostracism also has been a weapon of the right. USA Today, 5 Apr. 2021 But regardless of the reason for the silent treatment, it can be received by victims as ostracism. Daryl Austin, The Atlantic, 26 Mar. 2021 After his ostracism by Trump and the Mercers, Bannon seemed eager to return to Trump’s good graces. Adele M. Stan, The New Republic, 10 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ostracism.' 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 ostracism

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ostracism

borrowed from New Latin ostracismus, borrowed from Greek ostrakismós, from ostrakízein "to ostracize" + -ismos -ism

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The first known use of ostracism was in 1588

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ostracism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ostracism. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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