Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of banishing or excluding.
  • noun Banishment or exclusion from a group; disgrace.
  • noun In Athens and other cities of ancient Greece, the temporary banishment by popular vote of a citizen considered dangerous to the state.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Hence Banishment in general; expulsion; separation: as, social ostracism (banishment from good society).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Gr. Antiq.) Banishment by popular vote, -- a means adopted at Athens to rid the city of a person whose talent and influence gave umbrage.
  • noun Banishment; exclusion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Exclusion from a community or society.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the act of excluding someone from society by general consent
  • noun the state of being banished or ostracized (excluded from society by general consent)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French ostracisme, from Greek ostrakismos, from ostrakizein, to ostracize; see ostracize.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ὀστρακισμός (otrakismos, "banishment by means of voting with pot shards"), from ὀστρακίζειν ("ostracize") + -ισμός ("-ism").

Examples

  • The word ostracism comes from the Greek word signifying

    A Complete Grammar of Esperanto

  • Social ostracism from the family of nations with all that it would involve would be the sufficient penalty, so sufficient that it would never have to be invoked against any of those who resorted to the court.

    The Supreme Court of the World

  • From this practice derives the modern word ostracism

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • From this practice derives the modern word ostracism

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • And I’m with Ibrahim (apart from the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy – I think ostracism is a sufficient punishment) on most of those issues.

    Archive 2005-05-01

  • And I’m with Ibrahim (apart from the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy – I think ostracism is a sufficient punishment) on most of those issues.

    Swamp Thing

  • What has been happening to Muslims, Middle Easterners, and South Asians in the United States in the wake of 9/11 is a process of ostracism from the American community -- a de-Americanization process -- that we have witnessed before.

    Bill Ong Hing: Vigilante Racism and the De-Americanization of Muslim Americans

  • The ritual impurity of a sin also can have social consequences such as stigma or ostracism, which is likewise removed though expiation.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • And yet the number is steadily increasing who quietly undertake herculean tasks for their fellow-men, knowing that they will be neither appreciated nor understood, but, instead, will have to suffer social ostracism, which is sometimes quite as hard to endure as physical martyrdom.

    The Ascent of the Soul

  • This, which has been called the ostracism of a saintly genius, undoubtedly was due to his former friends, Ward and Manning.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

Comments

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  • "Besides, these disciples had nothing to gain except criticism, ostracism, and martyrdom." (The Case for Christ, 48)

    October 18, 2010