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[proh-skrip-shuh n]
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  1. the act of proscribing.
  2. the state of being proscribed.
  3. outlawry, interdiction, or prohibition.
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Origin of proscription

1350–1400; Middle English proscripcioun < Latin prōscrīptiōn- (stem of prōscrīptiō) public notice of confiscation or outlawry, equivalent to prōscrīpt(us) (past participle of prōscrībere to proscribe) + -iōn- -ion
Related formspro·scrip·tive [proh-skrip-tiv] /proʊˈskrɪp tɪv/, adjectivepro·scrip·tive·ly, adverbnon·pro·scrip·tion, nounnon·pro·scrip·tive, adjectivenon·pro·scrip·tive·ly, adverbun·pro·scrip·tive, adjectiveun·pro·scrip·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for proscription

embargo, restriction, injunction, bar, exclusion, constraint, veto, refusal, interdiction, negation, prohibition, obstruction, inhibition, interdict, ban, temperance, taboo, repudiation, prevention, disallowance

Examples from the Web for proscription

Historical Examples of proscription

  • Cicero was included in the first 17 victims of the Proscription.

    A Smaller History of Rome

    William Smith and Eugene Lawrence

  • Proscription, the miserable invention of ungenerous ambition.

  • Proscription has its advantages—for one thing, it binds human hearts like hoops of steel.

  • This Proscription of Sulla was the first instance of the kind, but it was repeated at a later time.

    Plutarch's Lives, Volume II

    Aubrey Stewart &amp; George Long

  • Proscription and persecution were systematized in a manner without precedent, by the compilation of lists of all suspects.

British Dictionary definitions for proscription


  1. the act of proscribing or the state of being proscribed
  2. denunciation, prohibition, or exclusion
  3. outlawry or ostracism
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Derived Formsproscriptive, adjectiveproscriptively, adverbproscriptiveness, noun

Word Origin for proscription

C14: from Latin prōscriptiō; see proscribe
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 proscription


late 14c., "decree of condemnation, outlawry," from Latin proscriptionem (nominative proscriptio) "a public notice (of sale); proscription, outlawry, confiscation," noun of action from past participle stem of proscribere (see proscribe).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper