Proscribe vs Prescribe

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What’s the difference between them?

Proscribe

Meaning:

To forbid or prohibit (something); to outlaw.

Examples:

1. The school has proscribed the use of mobile phones in class.

2. The government proscribed certain behaviors during the pandemic.

3. Smoking is proscribed in all public places in my country.

Prescribe

Meaning:

To prescribe means to officially suggest or order a treatment, such as a medicine, for a medical condition.

Examples:

1. The doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics for the infection.

2. The teacher prescribed reading a chapter of the book each night.

3. The nutritionist prescribed a healthy eating plan for the patient.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Proscribe

1. Ban

2. Forbid

3. Prohibit

4. Bar

5. Preclude

1. Allow

2. Permit

3. Endorse

4. Sanction

5. Give Approval To

Prescribe

1. Enjoin

2. Prescribe medication

3. Recommend

4. Mandate

5. Order

1. Discourage

2. Prohibit

3. Revoke

4. Abstain

5. Disallow

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Proscribe", "Prescribe".

1. Proscribe means to forbid or prohibit something.

2. Prescribe means to advise or recommend something.

3. Associate proscribe with 'prohibition' and prescribe with 'prescription.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word 'proscribe' be used?

Proscribe is a verb meaning to forbid or prohibit something, and is most commonly used in legal or official contexts. For example, a government could proscribe a certain type of behavior or activity that is illegal or against the law.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word 'prescribe'?

Prescribe is also a verb, but it has a different meaning. It is typically used in a medical or healthcare context, and means to advise or recommend a treatment or course of action. For example, a doctor might prescribe a certain medication to a patient for a particular condition.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words have different pronunciations. Proscribe is pronounced with a long 'o' sound, as in 'pro-scribe', while prescribe is pronounced with a short 'e' sound, as in 'pre-scribe'.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

The most common mistake is using the wrong word in the wrong context. People often confuse proscribe with prescribe, thinking they have the same meaning. It is important to understand the difference in order to use these words correctly. Additionally, people may not pay attention to the different pronunciation of the two words and accidentally use the wrong one.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. Doctors ___ medications to treat their patients illnesses.

2. Certain activities are ___d by law in some countries.

3. It is important for medical professionals to understand which drugs are ___d and which are not.

4. A dietitian may ___ certain foods for their clients to help them reach their health goals.

5. The government ___d the use of a certain chemical in the production of food products.

6. The schools dress code ___s what type of clothing is appropriate to wear.

1. Prescribe

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap would be prescribe as it is the action of giving a medical professionals written instructions for the use of a drug, treatment or therapy.

2. Proscribed

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap would be proscribed as it means to forbid or outlaw something by authority or law.

3. Prescribed

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap would be prescribed as it is the action of giving a medical professionals written instructions for the use of a drug, treatment or therapy.

4. Prescribe

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap would be prescribe as it is the action of giving directions or advice regarding diet or nutrition.

5. Proscribed

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap would be proscribed as it means to forbid or outlaw something by authority or law.

6. Proscribes

Explanation: The correct word to fill the gap would be proscribes as it means to lay down or specify rules or regulations; to define what is or is not permissible.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.