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proscribe

To proscribe something is to forbid or prohibit it, as a school principal might proscribe the use of cell phones in class.

Proscribe sounds similar to the word prescribe, but be careful: these words are essentially opposite in meaning. While proscribe means forbid, prescribe is used when a doctor recommends a medicine or remedy. Of course, if you want an excuse for not following your doctor’s orders, you could say you were confused about the meaning of these two words — but that would be lying, which is proscribed by most people’s value systems. And it would also be bad for your health.

Definitions of proscribe
  1. verb
    command against
    synonyms: disallow, forbid, interdict, nix, prohibit, veto
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    Antonyms:
    allow, countenance, let, permit
    consent to, give permission
    allow, grant
    let have
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    types:
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    ban
    prohibit especially by legal means or social pressure
    bar, debar, exclude
    prevent from entering; keep out
    enjoin
    issue an injunction
    criminalise, criminalize, illegalise, illegalize, outlaw
    declare illegal; outlaw
    ban, censor
    forbid the public distribution of ( a movie or a newspaper)
    type of:
    command, require
    make someone do something
Commonly confused words

prescribe / proscribe

Warning! These similar sounding words have very different meanings. To prescribe is to recommend and to proscribe is to forbid. One little letter makes a big difference.

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