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[proh-skrip-shuh n]
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  1. the act of proscribing.
  2. the state of being proscribed.
  3. outlawry, interdiction, or prohibition.

Origin of proscription

1350–1400; Middle English proscripcioun < Latin prōscrīptiōn- (stem of prōscrīptiō) public notice of confiscation or outlawry, equivalent to prōscrīpt(us) (past participle of prōscrībere to proscribe) + -iōn- -ion
Related formspro·scrip·tive [proh-skrip-tiv] /proʊˈskrɪp tɪv/, adjectivepro·scrip·tive·ly, adverbnon·pro·scrip·tion, nounnon·pro·scrip·tive, adjectivenon·pro·scrip·tive·ly, adverbun·pro·scrip·tive, adjectiveun·pro·scrip·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for proscriptive


  1. the act of proscribing or the state of being proscribed
  2. denunciation, prohibition, or exclusion
  3. outlawry or ostracism
Derived Formsproscriptive, adjectiveproscriptively, adverbproscriptiveness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin prōscriptiō; see proscribe
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

Word Origin and History for proscriptive


1757, from Latin proscript-, past participle stem of proscribere (see proscribe) + -ive. Related: Proscriptively.



late 14c., "decree of condemnation, outlawry," from Latin proscriptionem (nominative proscriptio) "a public notice (of sale); proscription, outlawry, confiscation," noun of action from past participle stem of proscribere (see proscribe).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper