Definition of proscribe
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
proscribe was our Word of the Day on 01/27/2016. Hear the podcast!
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 of proscribe from the Web
Shouting and chanting slogans are also proscribed after sunset.
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.
Did You Know?
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.
PROSCRIBE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of proscribe for English Language Learners
: to make (something) illegal : to not allow (something)
Legal Definition of proscribe
: to condemn or forbid as harmful or unlawful
Origin and Etymology of proscribe
Latin proscribere to publish, proscribe, from pro- before + scribere to write
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up proscribe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).