- exclusion, by general consent, from social acceptance, privileges, friendship, etc.
- (in ancient Greece) temporary banishment of a citizen, decided upon by popular vote.
Origin of ostracism
Examples from the Web for ostracism
But what the boy geeks miss, she argues, is that they are not the only ones who have to deal with harassment or ostracism.Laurie Penny’s In-Your-Face Feminism
September 18, 2014
Martyrdom, in this context, being defined as “mockery, slander, ostracism.”‘Persecuted’ Is the Christian Right’s Paranoid Wet Dream
July 22, 2014
Shame and ostracism are not guaranteed to be effective; like the recalcitrant husband, Israel may indeed dig in.Liberal Zionists Should Support BDS
February 11, 2013
What would be the point besides at a minimum misery, isolation, ostracism, and constant behind-the-back derision?Major League Homophobia Isn't Going Away
May 4, 2011
Your club, Sir Philip, will do me honour by such an ostracism.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
For to Sophia, ostracism had long since become a kind of second nature.The Genius
Margaret Horton Potter
But is our moral condition the true reason of our ostracism?
This is ostracism, and ostracism, so to speak, is a physiological organ of democracy.The Cult of Incompetence
This law of ostracism is as dangerous in science as it was of old in politics.The Life of Friedrich Schiller
Word Origin and History for ostracism
1580s, a method of 10-year banishment in ancient Athens, by which the citizens gathered and each wrote on a potsherd or tile the name of a man they deemed dangerous to the liberties of the people, and a man whose name turned up often enough was sent away. From Middle French ostracisme (16c.), Modern Latin ostracismus, or directly from Greek ostrakismos, from ostrakizein "to ostracize," from ostrakon "tile, potsherd," from PIE *ost-r-, from root *ost- "bone" (see osseous). The Greek word is related to osteon "bone," ostreion "oyster" (and cognate with German Estrich "pavement," which is from Medieval Latin astracus "pavement," ultimately from Greek ostrakon).
A similar practice in ancient Syracuse (with banishment for five years) was by writing names on olive leaves, and thus was called petalismos.