Definition of proscribe in English:

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Pronunciation: /prə(ʊ)ˈskrʌɪb/


[with object]
1Forbid, especially by law: strikes remained proscribed in the armed forces
More example sentences
  • We have not ruled out proscribing this organisation.
  • The rule of law proscribes ex post facto legislation.
  • Current rules proscribe relationships between soldiers of different rank, or soldiers and officers.
forbid, prohibit, ban, bar, disallow, rule out, embargo, veto, make illegal, interdict, outlaw, taboo
1.1Denounce or condemn: certain customary practices which the Catholic Church proscribed, such as polygyny
More example sentences
  • They were proscribed following an attack on one of Buddhism's most hallowed places of worship.
  • While its advocates are careful to point out that they are not proscribing reasoned criticism of specific policies, their arguments tend, in practice, to serve as a warning to those who make them.
  • International criminal law is a body of international rules designed both to proscribe international crimes and to impose upon States the obligation to prosecute and punish at least some of those crimes.
condemn, denounce, attack, criticize, censure, denigrate, damn, reject
1.2 historical Outlaw (someone): a plaque on which were the names of proscribed traitors
More example sentences
  • If we were proscribed we would go underground, and anything that's underground surfaces.
  • And, as both of them are deeply committed to their religious beliefs, when I was virtually proscribed for my decision by the church leadership they felt it necessary to follow suit.
  • But this project went unrealized, and after Caesar's assassination he was proscribed by Mark Antony: his library at Casinum was plundered, but he escaped to live the rest of his life in scholarly retirement.
outlaw, boycott, black, blackball, exclude, ostracize;
exile, expel, expatriate, evict, deport;
Christianity  excommunicate


Proscribe does not have the same meaning as prescribe: see prescribe (usage).



Pronunciation: /prə(ʊ)ˈskrɪptɪv/
Example sentences
  • I think it's very regrettable that we should become so proscriptive as to do away with a tradition such as this.
  • The fundamental reason for this is not because insurance executives were stupid, but because they manage their investments in a thicket of proscriptive regulation.
  • ‘It is important not to be proscriptive,’ he said.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'to outlaw'): from Latin proscribere, from pro- 'in front of' + scribere 'write'.

  • postscript from mid 16th century:

    The source of this word is Latin postscriptum from postscribere ‘write under or in front of, add’ (source of proscribe (Late Middle English) via the sense of ‘writing publicly’). The base elements are Latin post ‘after, later’ and scribere ‘write’. The sense ‘sequel’ dates from the late 19th century.

Words that rhyme with proscribe

ascribe, bribe, gybe, imbibe, jibe, scribe, subscribe, transcribe, tribe, vibe

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pro|scribe

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