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verb (used with object)
  1. to expel from or relegate to a country or place by authoritative decree; condemn to exile: He was banished to Devil's Island.
  2. 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 formsban·ish·er, nounban·ish·ment, nounnon·ban·ish·ment, nounpro·ban·ish·ment, adjectiveself-ban·ished, adjectiveself-ban·ish·ment, nounun·ban·ished, adjective

Synonyms for banish

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for banish

Contemporary Examples of banish

Historical Examples of banish

  • They would banish me, Calderon; banish me in the very prime of my years!

    Calderon The Courtier

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Let me hear the whole affair from Johnson, and then I will banish it from my thoughts.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • It will cost two millions and a half, but it will banish ignorance.

  • How easy it is to dereligionise the human race and banish God from the Universe!

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • He got up to banish it, and it stood before him face to face.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for banish


verb (tr)
  1. to expel from a place, esp by an official decree as a punishment
  2. to drive awayto banish gloom
Derived Formsbanishment, noun

Word Origin for banish

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

Word Origin and History for banish

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