Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To exclude from a group or society.
  • transitive verb To banish by ostracism, as in ancient Greece.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To exile by ostracism; banish by popular vote, as persons dreaded for their influence or power were banished by the ancient Athenians. See ostracism, 1.
  • Hence To banish from society; put under the ban; exclude from public or private favor.
  • Also spelled ostracise.

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

  • transitive verb (Gr. Antiq.) To exile by ostracism; to banish by a popular vote, as at Athens.
  • transitive verb To banish from society, by a general consent; to exclude from social, political, or private favor; to exclude from conversation or friendship; to shun. A person may be ostracized by a formal vote or by a widespread but informal agreement.

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

  • verb To exclude (a person) from society or from a community, by not communicating with them or by refusing to acknowledge their presence; to refuse to talk to or associate with; to shun.

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

  • verb avoid speaking to or dealing with
  • verb expel from a community or group

Etymologies

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

[Greek ostrakizein, from ostrakon, shell, potsherd (from the potsherds used as ballots in voting for ostracism); see ost- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ὀστρακίζω (ostrakizō, "I ostracize, banish by voting with pot shards"), from ὄστρακον (ostrakon, "clay pot").

Examples

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