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To ostracize is to cast someone out, or expel them from the community. In Ancient Greek, it means to banish because of a vote.


The etymology of ostracize is fascinating: It comes directly from the Greek verb ostrakízein, which is itself akin to ostrakon, the shell of an oyster—during votes to ostracize a member of a community, votes were inscribed on oyster shells to be counted after the vote was done.

See also

  1. Bullying