• synonyms


noun, plural os·tra·ka [os-truh-kuh] /ˈɒs trə kə/.
  1. ostracon.
Show More


or os·tra·kon

noun, plural os·tra·ca [os-truh-kuh] /ˈɒs trə kə/.
  1. (in ancient Greece) a potsherd, especially one used as a ballot on which the name of a person voted to be ostracized was inscribed.
Show More

Origin of ostracon

1880–85; < Greek óstrakon; see ostracize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ostrakon

Historical Examples of ostrakon

  • Then each voter received a shell (Greek, ostrakon), and dropped it into a place made for that purpose.

    The Story of the Greeks

    H. A. Guerber

  • From ostrakon, a tile; the voter wrote the name on a tile or shell.

  • One of their most interesting games, and one which you would all enjoy, was the twirling of the ostrakon.

British Dictionary definitions for ostrakon


  1. (in ancient Greece) a potsherd used for ostracizing
Show More

Word Origin for ostracon

from Greek
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