Prescribe And Proscribe In A Sentence

Updated Jun 22, 2023

Understanding the Difference Between "Prescribe" and "Proscribe" in a Sentence

Have you ever found yourself confused between the words "prescribe" and "proscribe"? While they may sound similar, their meanings are actually quite different. In this article, we will explore the distinctions between these two words and provide you with example sentences to ensure you can use them accurately in your writing. So, let's dive in!

What Does "Prescribe" Mean?

"Prescribe" is a verb that typically refers to the act of giving a recommendation or directive, usually in the context of medical treatment or advice. When someone prescribes something, they are suggesting a particular course of action or treatment for a specific purpose. For instance:

  1. The doctor prescribed antibiotics to treat the patient's infection.
  2. The nutritionist prescribed a balanced diet to improve the client's overall health.
  3. The therapist prescribed weekly sessions to address the anxiety disorder.

As you can see, "prescribe" involves the act of suggesting or recommending a specific action to achieve a desired outcome, often in the realm of healthcare or professional advice.

What Does "Proscribe" Mean?

On the other hand, "proscribe" is a verb with a completely different meaning. When something is proscribed, it is explicitly forbidden, prohibited, or condemned. It refers to the act of outlawing, prohibiting, or denouncing certain actions, behaviors, or items. Here are a few examples:

  1. The school's policy proscribes the use of cell phones during class.
  2. The government has proscribed the production and sale of certain drugs.
  3. The organization proscribed any form of discrimination based on race or gender.

In these sentences, "proscribe" is used to indicate that something is strictly forbidden or condemned due to legal, moral, or social reasons. It carries a sense of explicit prohibition or condemnation.

Spotting the Difference

To distinguish between "prescribe" and "proscribe" in a sentence, it's important to keep in mind their distinct meanings. While "prescribe" involves recommending or directing a course of action, "proscribe" implies a prohibition or condemnation of certain actions or items.

Remember, "prescribe" is often related to healthcare, advice, or recommendations, while "proscribe" is more about prohibition, condemnation, or outlawing.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between "prescribe" and "proscribe" is crucial for using them accurately in your writing. While "prescribe" involves suggesting or recommending a specific course of action, "proscribe" refers to the act of explicitly forbidding or condemning certain actions or items. By keeping their distinct meanings in mind, you can confidently use these words in appropriate contexts and avoid any confusion. Happy writing!

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