Definition of banish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbanɪʃ/


[with object]
1Send (someone) away from a country or place as an official punishment: a number of people were banished to Siberia for political crimes
More example sentences
  • When I'm banished to my little corner of the loungette with my laptop, I do seven hours of actual writing.
  • Coleman was banished to the stand for the second half of the game, which Stanley lost 2-1.
  • A healthy competition between the sexes can also be fun once the young child is banished to bed.
exile, expel, deport, eject, expatriate, extradite, repatriate, transport;
cast out, oust, drive away, evict, throw out, exclude, shut out, ban;
Christianity  excommunicate;
in ancient Greece ostracize
1.1Get rid of (something unwanted): all thoughts of romance were banished from her head
More example sentences
  • She is the epitome of quiet indignation, especially on learning that the smell of cigar smoke will soon be banished from the cigar shop.
  • Normal and necessary parts of our diet, such as salt and sugar and fat, have also been re-defined as toxins to be banished from our bodies.
  • Even oysters and mussels are banished from the Singer table.
dispel, dismiss, disperse, scatter, dissipate, drive away, drive off, chase away, rout, oust, cast out, shut out, get rid of, quell, allay, eliminate, dislodge


Late Middle English: from Old French baniss-, lengthened stem of banir; ultimately of Germanic origin and related to ban1.

  • ban from Old English:

    In Old English this meant ‘to summon by popular proclamation’. The word is Germanic and also passed into French where it had the sense ‘proclamation, summons, banishment’. This lies behind abandon (Late Middle English) based on the Old French phrase a bandon ‘at one's disposal, under one's jurisdiction’; and banal (mid 18th century) which originally related to feudal service and meant ‘compulsory’. From this came a notion of ‘common to everyone’ and so ‘ordinary and everyday’. The marriage banns (Middle English) read in church also come from the sense ‘proclamation’. Bandit (late 16th century) comes from Italian bandito a ‘banned person’, and banish (Late Middle English) comes from the same root.

Words that rhyme with banish

clannish, mannish, Spanish, tannish, vanish

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ban¦ish

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