proscribe

verb
pro·scribe | \prō-ˈskrīb \
proscribed; proscribing

Definition of proscribe 

transitive verb

1 : to publish the name of as condemned to death with the property of the condemned forfeited to the state

2 : to condemn or forbid as harmful or unlawful : prohibit

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Other Words from proscribe

proscriber noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for proscribe

Synonyms

ban, bar, enjoin, forbid, interdict, outlaw, prohibit

Antonyms

allow, let, permit, suffer

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Proscribe vs. Prescribe

Proscribe and prescribe each have a Latin-derived prefix that means "before" attached to the verb "scribe" (from scribere, meaning "to write"). Yet the two words have very distinct, often nearly opposite meanings. Why? In a way, you could say it's the law. In the 15th and 16th centuries both words had legal implications. To proscribe was to publish the name of a person who had been condemned, outlawed, or banished. To prescribe meant "to lay down a rule," including legal rules or orders.

Examples of proscribe in a Sentence

acts that are proscribed by law regulations proscribe the use of electronic devices on board a plane while it is landing

Recent Examples on the Web

Unlike most west African countries, Senegal has never had a military coup, but in 2012 the previous president, Abdoulaye Wade, did run for a third term, which the constitution proscribes. The Economist, "Senegal’s democracy is being tested by its president," 28 June 2018 Louisiana proscribes the naming of public buildings for living persons. Drew Broach, NOLA.com, "Louisiana forbids naming public buildings for living persons; here's the latest exception," 25 May 2018 Such bullets, which can cause wider wound channels, are proscribed in most military use. New York Times, "Wounds From Military-Style Rifles? ‘A Ghastly Thing to See’," 4 Mar. 2018 The law prohibits the sale of junk food like ice cream, chocolate and potato chips in Chilean schools and proscribes such products from being advertised during television programs or on websites aimed at young audiences. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "In Sweeping War on Obesity, Chile Slays Tony the Tiger," 7 Feb. 2018 Seventy-one groups, a mixture of national and international organizations including the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, appear on the list, but National Action was the first right-wing organization to be proscribed. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "British neo-Nazis serving in military detained," 5 Sep. 2017 The outcome of that case could permanently alter American politics by proscribing either party from using political gerrymanders to seize and maintain a legislative monopoly. Mark Joseph Stern, Slate Magazine, "Clarence Thomas Joins Liberals, Shocks World," 22 May 2017 There is an exception: A section of the money-laundering statute (section 1956(a)(2)) proscribes international transportations of any money (i.e., not necessarily the proceeds of crime) with the intent of avoiding transaction-reporting requirements. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "More Thoughts on the Manafort Indictment," 1 Nov. 2017 The freedmen may have gained the right to vote (one that would be proscribed in the years to come in the South by post-Reconstruction laws establishing poll taxes, literacy tests and other measures). The Root, "Tracing Your Roots: What Did Freedom Bring for My Ancestor?," 29 Sep. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proscribe

Latin proscribere to publish, proscribe, from pro- before + scribere to write — more at scribe

Latin proscribere to publish, proscribe, from pro- before + scribere to write

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Time Traveler for proscribe

The first known use of proscribe was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for proscribe

proscribe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of proscribe

: to make (something) illegal : to not allow (something)

proscribe

transitive verb
pro·scribe | \prō-ˈskrīb \
proscribed; proscribing

Legal Definition of proscribe 

: to condemn or forbid as harmful or unlawful

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Comments on proscribe

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to reject or criticize sharply

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