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late 14c., "decree of condemnation, outlawry," from Latin proscriptionem (nominative proscriptio) "a public notice (of sale); proscription, outlawry, confiscation," noun of action from past participle stem of proscribere (see proscribe).
in ancient Rome, a posted notice listing Roman citizens who had been declared outlaws and whose goods were confiscated. Rewards were offered to anyone killing or betraying the proscribed, and severe penalties were inflicted on anyone harbouring them. Their properties were confiscated, and their sons and grandsons were forever barred from public office and from the Senate