Definition of ostracize in English:

ostracize

Line breaks: os¦tra|cize
Pronunciation: /ˈɒstrəsʌɪz
 
/
(also ostracise)

verb

  • 2(In ancient Greece) banish (an unpopular or overly powerful citizen) from a city for five or ten years by popular vote: Themistocles was indeed out of favour at Athens by the end of the 470s, when he was ostracized
    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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