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See more synonyms for ostracize on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), os·tra·cized, os·tra·ciz·ing.
  1. to exclude, by general consent, from society, friendship, conversation, privileges, etc.: His friends ostracized him after his father's arrest.
  2. to banish (a person) from his or her native country; expatriate.
  3. (in ancient Greece) to banish (a citizen) temporarily by popular vote.
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Also especially British, os·tra·cise.

Origin of ostracize

1640–50; < Greek ostrakízein, equivalent to óstrak(on) potsherd, tile, ballot (akin to óstreion oyster, shell) + -izein -ize
Related formsos·tra·ciz·a·ble, adjectiveos·tra·ci·za·tion, nounos·tra·ciz·er, noun

Synonyms for ostracize

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Antonyms for ostracize

1. accept.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ostracize

expel, blackball, blacklist, snub, shun, exclude, excommunicate, oust, cut, avoid, drop, displace, boycott, reject, expatriate, deport, cold-shoulder, expulse

Examples from the Web for ostracize

Historical Examples of ostracize

  • Will you then ostracize the South and compel the abolition of slavery?

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • The defeat was staved off "ostrich" and "ostracize" on to some one else.

    The Secrets of a Kuttite

    Edward O. Mousley

  • And just for that they chose to turn the cold shoulder on her,—to ostracize her practically.

  • It will never trouble itself to inquire minutely into the truth, but will pronounce its hasty judgment, and then ostracize.

    We Two

    Edna Lyall

  • No, let us everywhere put down treason and ostracize traitors.

British Dictionary definitions for ostracize



verb (tr)
  1. to exclude or banish (a person) from a particular group, society, etc
  2. (in ancient Greece) to punish by temporary exile
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Derived Formsostracism, nounostracizable or ostracisable, adjectiveostracizer or ostraciser, noun

Word Origin for ostracize

C17: from Greek ostrakizein to select someone for banishment by voting on potsherds; see ostracon
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 ostracize


1640s, from Greek ostrakizein "to banish," literally "to banish by voting with potshards" (see ostracism). Figurative sense of "to exclude from society" is attested from 1640s. Related: Ostracization; ostracized; ostracizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper