Synonyms & Antonyms of exile

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 the forced removal from a homeland
  • the exile of French settlers from Nova Scotia resulted in the birth of the Cajun community in the U.S.

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  • immigration
2 a person forced to emigrate for political reasons
  • after being overthrown in a coup, the dictator spent the remainder of his life as an exile in a string of less-than-welcoming countries

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Synonyms & Antonyms of exile (Entry 2 of 2)

to force to leave a country
  • with their conquest of the Moors complete, Ferdinand and Isabella next exiled the Jews from Spain

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About exile

How does the verb exile contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of exile are banish, deport, and transport. While all these words mean "to remove by authority from a state or country," exile may imply compulsory removal or an enforced or voluntary absence from one's own country.

a writer who exiled himself for political reasons

When would banish be a good substitute for exile?

The synonyms banish and exile are sometimes interchangeable, but banish implies compulsory removal from a country not necessarily one's own.

banished for seditious activities

When is deport a more appropriate choice than exile?

Although the words deport and exile have much in common, deport implies sending out of the country an alien who has illegally entered or whose presence is judged inimical to the public welfare.

illegal aliens will be deported

When might transport be a better fit than exile?

The words transport and exile can be used in similar contexts, but transport implies sending a convicted criminal to an overseas penal colony.

a convict who was transported to Australia

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Time Traveler for exile

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Exile.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exile

Dictionary: Definition of exile

Nglish: Translation of exile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exile for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about exile

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