- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
ostracism \os"tra*cism\, n. [Gr. 'ostrakismo`s, fr. 'ostraki`zein to ostracize. See Ostracize.] 1. (Gr. Antiq.) Banishment by popular vote, -- a means adopted at Athens to rid the city of a person whose talent and influence gave umbrage. [1913 Webster] 2. Banishment; exclusion; as, social ostracism. [1913 Webster] Public envy is as an ostracism, that eclipseth men when they grow too great. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] Sentenced to a perpetual ostracism from the . . . confidence, and honors, and emoluments of his country. --A. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]