noun \ˈkwr-ən-ˌtēn, ˈkwär-\

: the period of time during which a person or animal that has a disease or that might have a disease is kept away from others to prevent the disease from spreading

: the situation of being kept away from others to prevent a disease from spreading

Full Definition of QUARANTINE

:  a period of 40 days
a :  a term during which a ship arriving in port and suspected of carrying contagious disease is held in isolation from the shore
b :  a regulation placing a ship in quarantine
c :  a place where a ship is detained during quarantine
a :  a restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests
b :  a place in which those under quarantine are kept
:  a state of enforced isolation

Examples of QUARANTINE

  1. The infected people were put into quarantine.
  2. The cows will be kept in quarantine for another week.
  3. The dog was put under quarantine.


partly modification of French quarantaine, from Old French, from quarante forty, from Latin quadraginta, from quadra- (akin to quattuor four) + -ginta (akin to viginti twenty); partly modification of Italian quarantena quarantine of a ship, from quaranta forty, from Latin quadraginta — more at four, vigesimal
First Known Use: 1609

Other Number-Related Terms

jubilee, myriad, score, twain



: to keep (a person or animal) away from others to prevent a disease from spreading : to put or keep (a person or animal) in quarantine


Full Definition of QUARANTINE

transitive verb
:  to detain in or exclude by quarantine
:  to isolate from normal relations or communication <quarantine an aggressor>
intransitive verb
:  to establish or declare a quarantine

Examples of QUARANTINE

  1. The hospital quarantined the infected patients.
  2. The dog was immediately quarantined.

First Known Use of QUARANTINE



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Detention of humans or animals suspected to have communicable disease until they are proved free of infection. The term is often used interchangeably with isolation (separation of a known infected individual from healthy ones until the danger of transmission passes). It derives from the 40-day (quarantina) isolation period instituted in an attempt to prevent spread of plague in the Middle Ages. Though appropriate in some cases (e.g., diphtheria), it is ineffective for diseases that are spread by other means (e.g., plague) or are contagious before symptoms appear. In some cases, contacts (e.g., the family of a hepatitis patient) are notified, educated on precautions, and monitored for development of illness. Quarantine is more often applied to animals (e.g., for rabies).


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