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[ban-ish] /ˈbæn ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to expel from or relegate to a country or place by authoritative decree; condemn to exile:
He was banished to Devil's Island.
to compel to depart; send, drive, or put away:
to banish sorrow.
Origin of banish
1275-1325; Middle English banisshen < Anglo-French, Old French baniss-, long stem of banir < Frankish *bannjan to proclaim, akin to ban1
Related forms
banisher, noun
banishment, noun
nonbanishment, noun
probanishment, adjective
self-banished, adjective
self-banishment, noun
unbanished, adjective
1. exile, expatriate, outlaw; deport. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for banishment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mademoiselle held the royal warrant of her father's banishment in her hand.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • You must journey on to Pesaro with me despite this banishment of which you have told me.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • And they are compelled to walk to and from the place of banishment.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • Her father was in banishment, the commutation of a sentence of death.

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • Where and to what does Hemsworth's benevolence point, dishonour or banishment?

    The O'Donoghue Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for banishment


verb (transitive)
to expel from a place, esp by an official decree as a punishment
to drive away: to banish gloom
Derived Forms
banishment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French banir, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German ban
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for banishment

c.1500, from banish + -ment.



late 14c., banischen, from banniss-, extended stem of Old French banir "announce, proclaim; levy; forbid; banish, proclaim an outlaw," from a Germanic source (perhaps Frankish *bannjan "to order or prohibit under penalty"), or from Vulgar Latin cognate *bannire (see bandit). Related: Banished; banishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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