Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
send (one) to Coventry
To ostracize; to ignore or refuse to communicate with one, typically as a form of punishment. Primarily heard in UK. When I refused to help them cheat, the other students sent me to Coventry.
be sent to Coventry
To be ostracized; to be ignored, typically as a form of punishment. Primarily heard in UK. I was sent to Coventry by the other students after I refused to help them cheat.
be sent to CoventryBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you are sent to Coventry, other people ignore you and refuse to talk to you because they disapprove of something you have done. Rumours about his private life started circulating among his colleagues and he soon found himself sent to Coventry. Note: Various origins have been suggested for this expression. During the English Civil War, Royalist prisoners from Birmingham were sent to prison in Coventry, a city which strongly supported the Parliamentarian side. Another suggestion is that the people of Coventry disliked soldiers so much that they refused to have anything to do with any woman who was seen talking to a soldier. As a result, soldiers did not like being sent to Coventry, where it was difficult to have social contact with anyone.
send someone to Coventryrefuse to associate with or speak to someone. chiefly British
This expression, which dates from the mid 18th century, is thought by some to stem from the extreme unpopularity of soldiers stationed in Coventry, who were cut off socially by the citizens. Another suggestion is that the phrase arose because Royalist prisoners were sent to Coventry during the English Civil War, the city being staunchly Parliamentarian.