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August 21, 2021



i. To exile.

ii. To exclude from a group, with consent from its members.

Etymology: The word ostracize has its roots in Ancient Greece, where the practice of voting for the removal of a person with enough power or influence to harm the state from society was to ostracize. According to Merriam-Webster, “Voters would elect to banish another citizen by writing that citizen’s name down on a potsherd.

Those receiving enough votes would then be subject to temporary exile from the state (usually for ten years).” The word likely comes from the Greek word ostrakizein, which is defined as “to banish by voting with potsherds.” The modern English verb ostracize does still refer to “Exile, by the ancient method of ostracization” however it more often refers to one’s exclusion from a group, as dictated by its members.

In a Sentence

He was ostracized from his peers due to his wild sense of fashion.

The prominent mathematician was ostracized due to their radical philosophical beliefs.

My co-worker’s constant criticism of our employer has caused them to be ostracized at work.


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