Definition of ostracize in English:

ostracize

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

verb

1 [with object] Exclude from a society or group: she was declared a witch and ostracized by the villagers
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, give someone the cold shoulder, reject, repudiate, boycott, blackball, blacklist, cast off, cast out, shut out, avoid, ignore, snub, cut dead, keep at arm's length, leave out in the cold, bar, ban, debar, banish, exile, expel; Britishsend to Coventry; North Americandisfellowship
informal freeze out, hand someone the frozen mitt
British informal blank
dated cut
Christianityexcommunicate
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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