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[proh-skrahyb] /proʊˈskraɪb/
verb (used with object), proscribed, proscribing.
to denounce or condemn (a thing) as dangerous or harmful; prohibit.
to put outside the protection of the law; outlaw.
to banish or exile.
to announce the name of (a person) as condemned to death and subject to confiscation of property.
Origin of proscribe
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin prōscrībere to publish in writing, confiscate, outlaw. See pro-1, prescribe
Related forms
proscribable, adjective
proscriber, noun
unproscribable, adjective
unproscribed, adjective
Can be confused
ascribe, proscribe, subscribe.
prescribe, proscribe.
1. censure, disapprove, repudiate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for proscribe
  • They don't proscribe all modern acquisitions as part of a system of belief.
  • Kosher laws proscribe pork and shellfish and prohibit mixing meat and dairy products.
  • There seems little reason to proscribe marijuana based on the characteristics of the the plant or its use.
  • Many places have tried to proscribe fortune-telling altogether.
  • The best that can be said is that they do not altogether proscribe it.
  • Trickle up poverty that the dems proscribe has never worked.
  • Narrow technicalities which proscribe or thwart its policies and purposes are not to be adopted.
British Dictionary definitions for proscribe


verb (transitive)
to condemn or prohibit
to outlaw; banish; exile
(in ancient Rome) to outlaw (a citizen) by posting his name in public
Derived Forms
proscriber, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin prōscrībere to put up a written public notice, from prō- in public + scrībere to write
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
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Word Origin and History for proscribe

early 15c., "write before, prefix," from Latin proscribere "publish in writing" (literally "write in front of"), including senses of "publish as having forfeited one's property, condemn, outlaw before the world," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Meaning "prohibit as wrong or dangerous" first recorded 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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