ostracism (n.) 1580s, a method of 10-year banishment in ancient Athens, by which the citizens gathered and wrote the names of men they deemed dangerous to the state on potsherds or tiles, and a man whose name turned up often enough was sent away. From Gk. ostrakismos, from ostrakizein "to ostracize," from ostrakon "tile, potsherd," related to osteon "bone," ostreion "oyster" (and cognate with Ger. Estrich "pavement," from M.L. astracus "pavement," ult. from Gk. ostrakon).
A similar practice in ancient Syracuse (with banishment for five years) was by writing names on olive leaves, and thus was called petalismos. Figurative sense of "to exclude from society" is attested from 1640s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • ostracism — OSTRACÍSM s.n. 1. Formă de judecată a adunării poporului, în vechea Atena, prin care un cetăţean, considerat primejdios pentru libertatea şi securitatea regimului, era exilat temporar. 2. Persecuţie, ostracizare. – Din fr. ostracisme. Trimis de… …   Dicționar Român

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ostracism — I noun avoidance, ban, banishment, blackball, blacklist, blame, blockade, censure, condemnation, Coventry, criticism, decrial, deportation, disbarment, dislodgment, dismissal, displacement, dissociability, distance, ejection, elimination,… …   Law dictionary

  • ostracism — [n] banishment avoidance, blackballing, boycott, cold shouldering, exclusion, excommunication, exile, expulsion, isolation, rejection, shunning; concepts 25,130 …   New thesaurus

  • ostracism — [äs′trə siz΄əm] n. [Gr ostrakismos < ostrakizein: see OSTRACIZE] 1. in ancient Greece, the temporary banishment of a citizen by popular vote 2. a rejection or exclusion by general consent, as from a group or from acceptance by society …   English World dictionary

  • Ostracism — For ostracized in interpersonal relationships, see Social rejection. Pieces of broken pottery as voting tokens. The persons nominated are Pericles, Cimon and Aristides, each with his patronymic (top to bottom). Ostracism (Greek: έξω ο …   Wikipedia

  • ostracism — /os treuh siz euhm/, n. 1. exclusion, by general consent, from social acceptance, privileges, friendship, etc. 2. (in ancient Greece) temporary banishment of a citizen, decided upon by popular vote. [1570 80; < NL ostracismus < Gk ostrakismós… …   Universalium

  • ostracism — [[t]ɒ̱strəsɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Ostracism is the state of being ostracized or the act of ostracizing someone. [FORMAL] ...those who have decided to risk social ostracism and stay on the wrong side of town. ...denunciation, tougher sanctions and… …   English dictionary

  • ostracism — [16] In ancient Greece, when it was proposed that a particular person should be sent into exile for a period, because he was becoming a danger to the state, a democratic vote was taken on the matter. The method of registering one’s vote was to… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • ostracism — /ˈɒstrəsɪzəm/ (say ostruhsizuhm) noun 1. the act of ostracising. 2. the fact or state of being ostracised: *Men and women … live together, more or less publicly, without being married and also without fear of ostracism –frank crowley and lorna… …  

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