Definition of ostracize in English:

ostracize

Syllabification: os·tra·cize
Pronunciation: /ˈästrəˌsīz
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Exclude (someone) from a society or group: a group of people who have been ridiculed, ostracized, and persecuted for centuries
More example sentences
  • You would essentially be ostracising yourself from your society's culture.
  • It was almost impossible for them to contemplate escaping to a society that would only ostracise them and condemn them as sinners.
  • Those who stepped out of line, who adopted Western styles or non-conformist attitudes, found themselves ostracized, assaulted, and even imprisoned.
Synonyms
exclude, shun, spurn, cold-shoulder, reject, shut out, avoid, ignore, snub, cut dead, keep at arm's length, leave out in the cold;
informal freeze out
1.1(In ancient Greece) banish (an unpopular or too powerful citizen) from a city for five or ten years by popular vote.
More example sentences
  • The chief result of the War was that the Athenian Empire was divided, the subject states of the Delian league were liberated, direct democracy failed and Pericles was ostracized.
  • This was the issue on which opposition to him was focused by Thucydides son of Melesias, a relative of Cimon, but Thucydides was ostracized c. 443 and the building continued.
  • Requiring that someone had over 6000 votes before being ostracised was an added feature to try to ensure that only when a person was unpopular with a large number of voters was exile the result.

Origin

mid 17th century: from Greek ostrakizein, from ostrakon 'shell or potsherd' (on which names were written, in voting to banish unpopular citizens).

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