1 : to exile by ostracism
2 : to exclude from a group by common consent
Did You Know?
In ancient Greece, prominent citizens whose power or influence threatened the stability of the state could be exiled by a practice called ostracism. Voters would elect to banish another citizen by writing that citizen's name down on a potsherd. Those receiving enough votes would then be subject to temporary exile from the state (usually for ten years). The English verb ostracize can mean "to exile by the ancient method of ostracism," but these days it usually refers to the general exclusion of one person from a group at the agreement of its members. Ostracism and ostracize derive from the Greek ostrakizein ("to banish by voting with potsherds"). Its ancestor, the Greek ostrakon ("shell" or "potsherd"), also helped to give English the word oyster.
Athletes who cheat risk being ostracized by their peers and colleagues—in addition to suffering professional ruin.
"Hateful speech is employed to offend, marginalize and ostracize. It's replaced reasonable persuasion by those too lazy or ignorant to be thoughtful." — Tom Fulks, The San Luis Obispo (California) Tribune, 26 Dec. 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of ostracize: b _ _ c _ b _ l _.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP