from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act of banishing or excluding.
- n. Banishment or exclusion from a group; disgrace.
- n. In Athens and other cities of ancient Greece, the temporary banishment by popular vote of a citizen considered dangerous to the state.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Exclusion from a community or society.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Banishment by popular vote, -- a means adopted at Athens to rid the city of a person whose talent and influence gave umbrage.
- n. Banishment; exclusion.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A political measure employed under restrictions of law among the ancient Athenians, by which citizens whose presence seemed embarrassing to the state were banished by public vote for a term of ten years, with leave to return to the enjoyment of their estates at the end of the period.
- n. Hence Banishment in general; expulsion; separation: as, social ostracism (banishment from good society).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the act of excluding someone from society by general consent
- n. the state of being banished or ostracized (excluded from society by general consent)
French ostracisme, from Greek ostrakismos, from ostrakizein, to ostracize; see ostracize.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ὀστρακισμός (otrakismos, "banishment by means of voting with pot shards"), from ὀστρακίζειν ("ostracize") + -ισμός ("-ism"). (Wiktionary)