Definition of proscribe in English:



  • 1Forbid, especially by law.

    ‘strikes remained proscribed in the armed forces’
    • ‘We have not ruled out proscribing this organisation.’
    • ‘Others object because they feel the Bible proscribes invoking god while making an oath.’
    • ‘Last week the government released a list of 15 proscribed organisations.’
    • ‘Few deputies positively welcomed the purge of national representatives, and a number who had no special links with the proscribed deputies went out of their way to condemn the deed openly in letters to their constituents.’
    • ‘Using this definition, the attorney-general could proscribe any group that organises a demonstration or strike in which a person was injured or felt endangered.’
    • ‘‘If you proscribe an organisation, you strengthen it’, he said.’
    • ‘The power to proscribe organisations should be vested in more than an individual (the Attorney General) and representatives from banned organisations should have adequate rights of appeal.’
    • ‘Jewish law states that not only is telling gossip forbidden; lending a willing ear is equally proscribed.’
    • ‘The former clause proscribed anyone from aiding the practice of prostitution, while the latter required the police to arrest and medically examine suspected prostitutes.’
    • ‘The rule of law proscribes ex post facto legislation.’
    • ‘Songs of a politically critical character are proscribed.’
    • ‘The ‘Goldwater’ rule already proscribes specific comments about public figures or others who have not actually been evaluated.’
    • ‘It is conceivable that this identifier alone could alarm the Attorney General enough to proscribe the organisation.’
    • ‘Current rules proscribe relationships between soldiers of different rank, or soldiers and officers.’
    • ‘When someone dies, we are proscribed from desecrating the body, which includes invasion of the corpse.’
    • ‘The Bill is unnecessary simply because the government presently has the power to proscribe terrorist organisations.’
    • ‘She should have been stopped in her tracks for purporting to answer the question when, in fact, she is saying that I am proscribed from even asking a question about this man, the evidence on whom I gave last week.’
    • ‘There are numbers of organisations that have been proscribed.’
    • ‘Although advertising directly to consumers is proscribed in the European Union, companies are able to target patients indirectly through disease awareness campaigns, sponsorship of information materials, and press releases.’
    • ‘Among the draconian penal laws is Law 71 which states that anyone ‘who calls for the establishment of any grouping, organisation or association proscribed by law’ can be executed.’
    forbid, prohibit, ban, bar, disallow, rule out, embargo, veto, make illegal, interdict, outlaw, taboo
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    1. 1.1 Denounce or condemn.
      ‘certain practices that the Catholic Church proscribed, such as polygyny’
      • ‘International criminal law is a body of international rules designed both to proscribe international crimes and to impose upon States the obligation to prosecute and punish at least some of those crimes.’
      • ‘While its advocates are careful to point out that they are not proscribing reasoned criticism of specific policies, their arguments tend, in practice, to serve as a warning to those who make them.’
      • ‘They were proscribed following an attack on one of Buddhism's most hallowed places of worship.’
      condemn, denounce, attack, criticize, censure, denigrate, damn, reject
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    2. 1.2historical Outlaw (someone).
      • ‘If we were proscribed we would go underground, and anything that's underground surfaces.’
      • ‘And, as both of them are deeply committed to their religious beliefs, when I was virtually proscribed for my decision by the church leadership they felt it necessary to follow suit.’
      • ‘But this project went unrealized, and after Caesar's assassination he was proscribed by Mark Antony: his library at Casinum was plundered, but he escaped to live the rest of his life in scholarly retirement.’
      outlaw, boycott, black, blackball, exclude, ostracize
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Proscribe does not have the same meaning as prescribe: see prescribe


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘to outlaw’): from Latin proscribere, from pro- ‘in front of’ + scribere ‘write’.