pro·​scrip·​tion | \prō-ˈskrip-shən \

Definition of proscription 

1 : the act of proscribing : the state of being proscribed

2 : an imposed restraint or restriction : prohibition

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Other Words from proscription

proscriptive \ prō-​ˈskrip-​tiv \ adjective
proscriptively adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for proscription


ban, embargo, interdict, interdiction, prohibition, veto



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Examples of proscription in a Sentence

the proscription against bicycles and skateboards is intended to make the plaza a more pedestrian-friendly place a strongly worded proscription against smoking indoors

Recent Examples on the Web

There are still some legal gray areas through which such techniques could reemerge — for example, how to interpret domestic and international legal proscriptions, for example — but that’s not the only concern about Haspel’s nomination. Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault, Washington Post, "With (or without) Gina Haspel at CIA, could Trump revive the torture program?," 8 May 2018 Those cases, however, turned on the Eighth Amendment's proscription of cruel and unusual punishment for prisoners. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin unlawfully denies necessary treatment for transgender Medicaid recipients, lawsuit claims," 30 Apr. 2018 When their relationship began, in the fall of 2016, old proscriptions were triggered in force, but Harry would have none of it. Michael Joseph Gross, Town & Country, "How Commoners Are Saving the Royal Families of Europe," 17 Jan. 2018 As my colleague Olga Khazan wrote in 2013, the proscription was both cultural and religious. Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, "Saudi Women May Get Driver's Licenses—With Some Major Caveats," 26 Sep. 2017 Accordingly, if Prop 1 passed, individual business owners or private citizens could take it upon themselves to decide how to enforce Prop 1's proscriptions. Bill Evans, Alaska Dispatch News, "Prop 1 is solution in search of problem; vote no," 12 Sep. 2017 The new galley, like the current one, will prepare takeout meals for the 41 captives consistent with Islam’s halal proscriptions for delivery to the cellblocks. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "Guantánamo prison chow hall needs 400 lobster cracking tools," 31 Aug. 2017 To be sure, South Korea has no visible nuclear program or announced plans for it, but an international proscription is another matter. Henry A. Kissinger, WSJ, "How to Resolve the North Korea Crisis," 11 Aug. 2017 Chairman Conne Bisbee concurred, as did others on the board after a proscription against parole violations, even the simplest. Jennifer Brett, ajc, "O.J. Simpson granted early release," 20 July 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proscription

Middle English proscripcion, from Latin proscription-, proscriptio, from proscribere

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Time Traveler for proscription

The first known use of proscription was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for proscription


pro·​scrip·​tion | \prō-ˈskrip-shən \

Legal Definition of proscription 

1 : the act of proscribing : the state of being proscribed

2 : an imposed restraint or restriction

Other Words from proscription

proscriptive \ -​ˈskrip-​tiv \ adjective
proscriptively adverb

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Comments on proscription

What made you want to look up proscription? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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