[ proh-skrahyb ]
/ proʊˈskraɪb /

verb (used with object), pro·scribed, pro·scrib·ing.

to denounce or condemn (a thing) as dangerous or harmful; prohibit.
to put outside the protection of the law; outlaw.
to banish or exile.
to announce the name of (a person) as condemned to death and subject to confiscation of property.

Nearby words

  1. prosaism,
  2. prosaist,
  3. prosateur,
  4. proscenium,
  5. prosciutto,
  6. proscription,
  7. proscriptive,
  8. prose,
  9. prose edda,
  10. prose poem

Origin of proscribe

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin prōscrībere to publish in writing, confiscate, outlaw. See pro-1, prescribe

Related formspro·scrib·a·ble, adjectivepro·scrib·er, nounun·pro·scrib·a·ble, adjectiveun·pro·scribed, adjective

Can be confusedascribe proscribe subscribeprescribe proscribe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for proscribe

  • Proscribe French, their mother tongue, and they will hate you and have nothing to do with your schools.

    Bilingualism|N. A. Belcourt

British Dictionary definitions for proscribe


/ (prəʊˈskraɪb) /

verb (tr)

to condemn or prohibit
to outlaw; banish; exile
(in ancient Rome) to outlaw (a citizen) by posting his name in public
Derived Formsproscriber, noun

Word Origin for proscribe

C16: from Latin prōscrībere to put up a written public notice, from prō- in public + scrībere to write

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 proscribe



early 15c., "write before, prefix," from Latin proscribere "publish in writing" (literally "write in front of"), including senses of "publish as having forfeited one's property, condemn, outlaw before the world," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Meaning "prohibit as wrong or dangerous" first recorded 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper