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Meaning of Ostracsm

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  • The act of banishing or excluding someone
  • Banishment, exclusion or disgrace
  • In ancient Greece, the temporary banishment by popular vote of a citizen considered dangerous to the state
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

Os"tra*cism (?), n. [Gr. &?;, fr. &?; to ostracize. See Ostracize.] 1. (Gr. Antiq.) Banishment by popular vote, -- a means adopted at Athens to rid the city of a person whose talent and influence gave umbrage.

2. Banishment; exclusion; as, social ostracism.

Public envy is as an ostracism, that eclipseth men when they grow too great.

Sentenced to a perpetual ostracism from the . . . confidence, and honors, and emoluments of his country.
A. Hamilton.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Ostracism, banishment (lit. by shell) for a term of years by popular vote from Athens of any individual whose political influence seemed to threaten the liberty of the citizens; the vote was given by each citizen writing the name of the individual on a shell and depositing it in some place appointed, and it was only when supported by 6000 citizens that it took effect.
- Wikipedia

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