Ostracism definition

ŏstrə-sĭzəm
In ancient Greece, the temporary banishment of a citizen by popular vote.
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The act of banishing or excluding.
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Banishment or exclusion from a group; disgrace.
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A rejection or exclusion by general consent, as from a group or from acceptance by society.
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In Athens and other cities of ancient Greece, the temporary banishment by popular vote of a citizen considered dangerous to the state.
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(historical) In ancient Athens (some other cities), the temporary banishment by popular vote of a citizen considered dangerous to the state. [from 16th c.]
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(figuratively) Banishment by some general consent. [from 17th c.]
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Temporary exclusion from a community or society.
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Ostracism is defined as the act of excluding someone from a group.

When one kid in the class is never invited to parties or allowed to sit with the others at lunch, this is an example of ostracism.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
ostracism
Plural:
ostracisms

Origin of ostracism

  • French ostracisme from Greek ostrakismos from ostrakizein to ostracize ostracize

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Ancient Greek ὀστρακισμός (otrakismos, “banishment by means of voting with pot shards"), from ὀστρακίζειν (ostrakizein, “ostracize") + -ισμός (-ismos, “-ism").

    From Wiktionary