[eg-zahyl, ek-sahyl]


verb (used with object), ex·iled, ex·il·ing.

to expel or banish (a person) from his or her country; expatriate.
to separate from country, home, etc.: Disagreements exiled him from his family.

Origin of exile

1250–1300; Middle English exil banishment < Latin ex(s)ilium, equivalent to exsul banished person + -ium -ium
Related formsex·il·a·ble, adjectiveex·il·er, nounqua·si-ex·iled, adjectiveun·ex·iled, adjective

Synonyms for exile

7, 8. evict, drive out, cast out, eject, deport.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exile

Contemporary Examples of exile

Historical Examples of exile

  • The best of his works is the Olympian Zeus, made at Elis after his exile.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • A vote was taken on the question of exile, and the black pebbles predominated.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • For each of the fallen wishes to feel that his exile is self-terminable.

  • She remembered the bitterness of her month's exile, and its probable cause.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Miss Baker talked persistently about Bermuda; as if my exile had ever been a possibility!

British Dictionary definitions for exile



a prolonged, usually enforced absence from one's home or country; banishment
the expulsion of a person from his native land by official decree
a person banished or living away from his home or country; expatriate


to expel from home or country, esp by official decree as a punishment; banish
Derived Formsexilic (ɛɡˈzɪlɪk, ɛkˈsɪlɪk) or exilian, adjective

Word Origin for exile

C13: from Latin exsilium banishment, from exsul banished person; perhaps related to Greek alasthai to wander



the Exile another name for Babylonian captivity
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 exile

c.1300, from Old French essillier "exile, banish, expel, drive off," from Late Latin exilare/exsilare, from Latin exilium/exsilium "banishment, exile," from exul "banished person," from ex- "away" (see ex-) + PIE root *al- "to wander" (cf. Greek alaomai "to wander, stray, or roam about"). Second element derived in ancient times by folk etymology from Latin solum "soil." Related: Exiled; exiling.


c.1300, "forced removal from one's country;" early 14c. as "a banished person;" from Old French exil, essil (12c.), from Latin exilium (see exile (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper