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.
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   2. Banishment; exclusion; as, social ostracism.
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            Public envy is as an ostracism, that eclipseth men
            when they grow too great.             --Bacon.
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            Sentenced to a perpetual ostracism from the . . .
            confidence, and honors, and emoluments of his
            country.                              --A. Hamilton.
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