blockade

1 of 2

verb

block·​ade blä-ˈkād How to pronounce blockade (audio)
blockaded; blockading

transitive verb

1
: to subject to a blockade
2
blockader noun

blockade

2 of 2

noun

1
: the isolation by a warring nation of an enemy area (such as a harbor) by troops or warships to prevent passage of persons or supplies
broadly : a restrictive measure designed to obstruct the commerce and communications of an unfriendly nation
2
: something that blocks
3
: interruption of normal physiological function (such as transmission of nerve impulses) of a cellular receptor, tissue, or organ
also : inhibition of a physiologically active substance (such as a hormone)

Examples of blockade in a Sentence

Verb They blockaded the country's ports. the militant protestors blockaded the whole area around city hall Noun it was the blockade of all the enemy's major ports that finally won the war
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Climate activists have sought to blockade the entrance to the bank’s main office since early June, with video footage showing angry scenes in the public plaza outside the building. Alena Botros, Fortune, 26 June 2024 With Cuba blockaded by U.S. warships, Mr. Goines and others were on a boat ready to mount amphibious attacks if the Soviet Union did not back down on plans to place nuclear missiles on the island. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 21 June 2024
Noun
Soon afterward, as Castro’s rule hardened into a repressive dictatorship, formal relations between the two countries came to an end, and the United States and other countries imposed an economic blockade. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, 7 July 2024 Pros Studies show excess weight loss of about 24% with vagal blockade. Amber J. Tresca, Verywell Health, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for blockade 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blockade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

derivative of blockade entry 2

Noun

block entry 2 + -ade, after German (17th century) Blocquade, Bloquade, Bloquada & Dutch (17th century) Blocquade, Bloquade

Note: The German and Dutch words, which are common in accounts of contemporary events in Europe following the siege and sack of Magdeburg in 1631, are of uncertain origin. They appear to have no Romance antecedents. According to R.J. Brunt, The Influence of the French Language on the German Vocabulary: 1649-1735 (De Gruyter, 2013) "…Ger[man] Blockade probably derives from Ital[ian] bloccato, the past part[iciple] of the verb bloccare 'stringere con il blocco, privare di refornimenti" (p. 160). It seems much more likely however, as Brunt suggests in the same paragraph, that the word was formed from German bloquiren (present-day blockieren), attested earlier and probably borrowed from French blocquer (though in this sense the word is attested only slightly earlier). The suffix -ade/-ada is a distinct borrowing from Romance sources. The Dutch word may have been borrowed from German, or independently formed from blockeren "to enclose" (present-day blokkeren "to obstruct"), also borrowed from French.

First Known Use

Verb

1684, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blockade was in 1659

Dictionary Entries Near blockade

Cite this Entry

“Blockade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blockade. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

blockade

noun
block·​ade
blä-ˈkād
: the cutting off of an area by means of troops or warships to stop the coming in or going out of people or supplies
blockade verb
blockader noun

Medical Definition

blockade

1 of 2 noun
block·​ade blä-ˈkād How to pronounce blockade (audio)
1
a
: interruption of normal physiological function (as transmission of nerve impulses) of a cellular receptor, tissue, or organ
b
: inhibition of a physiologically active substance (as a hormone)
2
: the process of reducing the phagocytic capabilities of the mononuclear phagocyte system by loading it with harmless material (as India ink or lampblack) which engages its cells in phagocytosis and prevents them from reacting to new antigenic material compare blocking antibody

blockade

2 of 2 transitive verb
blockaded; blockading
: to subject to blockade

More from Merriam-Webster on blockade

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