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 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for banishment

Contemporary Examples of banishment

Historical Examples of banishment

  • Mademoiselle held the royal warrant of her father's banishment in her hand.

  • 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 (tr)

to expel from a place, esp by an official decree as a punishment
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 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