Why was clemency trending last week?


[ban-ish] /ˈbæn ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to expel from or relegate to a country or place by authoritative decree; condemn to exile:
He was banished to Devil's Island.
to compel to depart; send, drive, or put away:
to banish sorrow.
Origin of banish
1275-1325; Middle English banisshen < Anglo-French, Old French baniss-, long stem of banir < Frankish *bannjan to proclaim, akin to ban1
Related forms
banisher, noun
banishment, noun
nonbanishment, noun
probanishment, adjective
self-banished, adjective
self-banishment, noun
unbanished, adjective
1. exile, expatriate, outlaw; deport. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for banishment
  • Enraged, he disinherited her and sentenced her to banishment.
  • But this banishment to the rocks and echoes no metaphysics can make right or tolerable.
  • In others, banishment hangs in the balance, with the prospect of families split up or swept into harm's way.
  • Both the cast dinner and beachfront after-party were canceled, and his banishment followed the next day.
  • The family is more than usual itself and for the time there is banishment of the war clouds that were then hanging over the south.
  • Killing natives was a serious crime as banishment meant loss of land, privileges and food rations.
  • And so are miserable housing, poor health, and social banishment.
British Dictionary definitions for banishment


verb (transitive)
to expel from a place, esp by an official decree as a punishment
to drive away: to banish gloom
Derived Forms
banishment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French banir, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German ban
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for banishment

c.1500, from banish + -ment.



late 14c., banischen, from banniss-, extended stem of Old French banir "announce, proclaim; levy; forbid; banish, proclaim an outlaw," from a Germanic source (perhaps Frankish *bannjan "to order or prohibit under penalty"), or from Vulgar Latin cognate *bannire (see bandit). Related: Banished; banishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for banish

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for banishment

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with banishment

Nearby words for banishment