ostracism

noun
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 Rising resentment among the vaccinated may well lead to public support for more coercive requirements, including mandates, but experts warn that punitive measures and social ostracism can backfire, shutting down dialogue and outreach efforts. BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2021 Rising resentment among the vaccinated may well lead to public support for more coercive requirements, including mandates, but experts warn that punitive measures and social ostracism can backfire, shutting down dialogue and outreach efforts. New York Times, 27 July 2021 Rising resentment among the vaccinated may well lead to public support for more coercive requirements, including mandates, but experts warn that punitive measures and social ostracism can backfire, shutting down dialogue and outreach efforts. Roni Caryn Rabin New York Times, Star Tribune, 27 July 2021 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 Hanna Ziady, CNN, 16 June 2021 But in serious cases, ostracism can take a heavy toll whereby victims become anxious, withdrawn, depressed, or even suicidal.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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ostracism

Time Traveler for ostracism

Time Traveler

The first known use of ostracism was in 1588

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near ostracism

ostracise

ostracism

ostracite

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ostracism

Last Updated

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ostracism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ostracism. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!