From Middle English banysshen, from Old French banir (to proclaim, ban, banish) and Old English bannan, from Proto-Germanic *bannaną (curse, forbid). Compare to French bannir.


  • enPR: băn'ĭsh, IPA(key): /ˈbænɪʃ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ænɪʃ


banish (third-person singular simple present banishes, present participle banishing, simple past and past participle banished)

  1. (heading) To send someone away and forbid that person from returning.
    1. (with simple direct object)
      If you don't stop talking blasphemies, I will banish you.
    2. (with from)
      He was banished from the kingdom.
      • 2011 December 15, Felicity Cloake, “How to cook the perfect nut roast”, in Guardian:
        The parsnip, stilton and chestnut combination may taste good, but it's not terribly decorative. In fact, dull's the word, a lingering adjectival ghost of nut roasts past that I'm keen to banish from the table.
    3. (dated, with out of)
    4. (archaic, with two simple objects (person and place))
  2. To expel, especially from the mind.
    banish fear, qualm.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      [] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.

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