Open main menu



From Middle English proscriben, from Latin prōscrībō (to proclaim, forbid, banish).



proscribe (third-person singular simple present proscribes, present participle proscribing, simple past and past participle proscribed)

  1. (transitive) To forbid or prohibit.
    The law proscribes driving a car while intoxicated.
  2. (transitive) To denounce.
    The word ‘ain’t’ is proscribed by many authorities.
    • 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, [], OCLC 633494058, chapter 13, page 1:
      If Joseph Willet, the denounced and proscribed of 'prentices, had happened to be at home when his father's courtly guest presented himself before the Maypole door— [...] he would have contrived, by hook or crook, to dive to the very bottom of Mr. Chester's mystery, and to come at his purpose with as much certainty as though he had been his confidential adviser.
  3. (transitive) To banish or exclude.
    Many Roman citizens were proscribed for taking part in rebellions.

Usage notesEdit

  • Avoid the erroneous construction “proscribe against”; substitute “proscribe” alone or the phrase “prescribe against”.


Related termsEdit

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.





  1. Informal second-person singular () affirmative imperative form of proscribir.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present indicative form of proscribir.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present indicative form of proscribir.