embargo

noun
em·​bar·​go | \ im-ˈbär-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce embargo (audio) \
plural embargoes

Definition of embargo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an order of a government prohibiting the departure of commercial ships from its ports
2 : a legal prohibition on commerce a trade embargo
3 : stoppage, impediment especially : prohibition I lay no embargo on anybody's words — Jane Austen
4 : an order by a common carrier or public regulatory agency prohibiting or restricting freight transportation

embargo

verb
embargoed; embargoing

Definition of embargo (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place an embargo on

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Synonyms & Antonyms for embargo

Synonyms: Noun

ban, interdict, interdiction, prohibition, proscription, veto

Antonyms: Noun

prescription

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When Should You Use embargo?

Noun

Embargoes may be put in place for any number of reasons. For instance, a government may place a trade embargo against another country to express its disapproval with that country’s policies. But governments are not the only bodies that can place embargoes. A publisher, for example, could place an embargo on a highly anticipated book to prevent stores from selling it before its official release date. The word embargo, dating from the late 16th century, derives via Spanish embargar from Vulgar Latin imbarricare, formed from the prefix in- and the noun "barra" ("bar").

Examples of embargo in a Sentence

Noun

there's a standing embargo against the use of foul language in this house

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In addition to lifting the arms embargo, the U.N. Security Council removed a travel ban and an asset freeze, potentially paving the way for an economic opening and for Eritrea to become more involved in regional conflicts, including in Yemen. Julia Steers, WSJ, "United Nations Lifts Sanctions on ‘Africa’s North Korea’," 14 Nov. 2018 Today, OnePlus is announcing its newest flagship smartphone and lifting the review embargo. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "OnePlus 6T Review: Amazing value with an even more amazing fingerprint reader," 29 Oct. 2018 Hulu provided two Into the Dark films to critics in advance, but details on the second, November’s Flesh & Blood, are under embargo until later this month. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Hulu’s horror anthology Into the Dark represents the good and bad sides of Blumhouse Productions," 5 Oct. 2018 Ending arms embargoes on the Ukraine and Georgia that Obama imposed on victims of Russian aggression. Fox News, "Mark Levin on media freakout over Trump-Putin summit," 18 July 2018 The election of Trump also appears to have killed any chance of ending the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, latimes.com, "Few political changes likely as Cuba moves on from six decades under the Castro brothers," 18 Apr. 2018 Relations between the United States and Vietnam were normalized in 1995, and Washington lifted the embargo on weapons sales to the country in 2016. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A U.S, Aircraft Carrier Will Visit Vietnam for the First Time Since the Vietnam War," 27 Feb. 2018 Since the Arab oil embargo 45 years ago, which sent crude prices up and created painful supply shortages, the problem of scarcity had defined U.S. thinking and strategy around oil, the world’s economic lifeblood. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "U.S. Becomes Net Exporter of Oil, Fuels for First Time in Decades," 6 Dec. 2018 The Sharara oil field’s capture and possible return to operations come as oil markets grapple with U.S. embargo sanctions on Venezuelan crude, which has put upward pressure on oil prices. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Libyan Commander Seizes Shuttered Oil Field," 6 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Inspectors for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have started to embargo products that contain cannabidiol, or CBD, during regular, periodic restaurant inspections. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "NYC Cracks Down on Businesses Selling CBD-Infused Food and Drinks," 5 Feb. 2019 But this time, as the Trump administration moves to embargo Venezuelan oil, the White House’s key Middle Eastern ally won’t be as eager to rush to its aid, say people familiar with the kingdom’s thinking. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "Saudis Not Rushing to Respond to Venezuela Oil Ban," 29 Jan. 2019 The remarks will be embargoed until the end of the call. Richard Bravo, Bloomberg.com, "Threat of Trade Brawl Hangs on Trump’s Looming Tariff Deadline," 31 May 2018 The ruling allows authorities to embargo any properties or money owned by the church, including bonds, cars and artwork. Fox News, "Judge orders embargo of Puerto Rico Catholic church accounts," 27 Mar. 2018 Reporters regularly agree to embargo logistical details of trips to war zones, but are not typically asked to sign a document binding them to do so. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, "White House Job Requirement: Signing a Nondisclosure Agreement," 21 Mar. 2018 The report, and Kasich's remarks, were embargoed until the report's release Tuesday morning. Monroe Trombly, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio Gov. John Kasich to Donald Trump: Frustrated? 'Sit on your hands and keep your mouth shut'," 16 Jan. 2018 Formal reviews for The Last Jedi have been embargoed before the Dec.15 opening. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' premiere kicks off with cheers for Luke Skywalker's return," 10 Dec. 2017 On August 5, the US drafted a UN resolution that embargoed all imports of North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood and required nations to cap employment of DPRK workers. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, "Trump says UN North Korea sanctions are 'not a big deal'," 12 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embargo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of embargo

Noun

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1755, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for embargo

Noun

Spanish, from embargar to bar, from Vulgar Latin *imbarricare, from Latin in- + Vulgar Latin *barra bar

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Statistics for embargo

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embargo

The first known use of embargo was in 1602

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More Definitions for embargo

embargo

noun

Financial Definition of embargo

What It Is

An embargo is a government-instituted prevention of exports to a certain country.

In the media world, an embargo is the release of information with the condition that it cannot be published or disseminated before a certain date. Companies often embargo press releases, meaning that they disseminate them to the media with the condition that the media not report the story until after a certain date.

How It Works

Let's say Country A dislikes Country B's human rights policies. In order to coerce Country B to change its ways, Country A forbids its companies from selling widgets to Country B. Country B has a huge demand for widgets, and being "cut off" from Country A's widgets could encourage Country B's citizens to demand that Country B's government change its ways.

In many cases, a group of countries will join an embargo so that a country like Country B can't just start buying widgets elsewhere. Sometimes countries will embargo all products with other countries.

The Magna Carta is one of the world's first and most famous embargoes. Another famous embargo is the one between the U.S. and Cuba, which has not received most American goods for 50 years.

Why It Matters

Embargoes are political strategies. Economies are increasingly global, which makes them even more powerful when they involve countries that rely on imports for day-to-day needs.

Critics point out that a country's choice not to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) may effectively place an embargo on the goods and services of that country, because WTO members often trade only with each other or give preferential treatment to other WTO members.

Source: Investing Answers

embargo

noun

English Language Learners Definition of embargo

: a government order that limits trade in some way

embargo

noun
em·​bar·​go | \ im-ˈbär-gō How to pronounce embargo (audio) \
plural embargoes

Kids Definition of embargo

: an order of a government forbidding ships engaged in trade from leaving its ports an oil embargo

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embargo

noun
em·​bar·​go | \ im-ˈbär-gō, em- How to pronounce embargo (audio) \
plural embargoes

Legal Definition of embargo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an order of a government prohibiting the departure of commercial ships from its ports
2 : a legal prohibition on commerce an embargo on arms shipments
3 : an order by a common carrier or public regulatory agency prohibiting or restricting freight transportation

embargo

transitive verb
embargoed; embargoing

Legal Definition of embargo (Entry 2 of 2)

: to place an embargo on

History and Etymology for embargo

Noun

Spanish, from embargar to bar

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Comments on embargo

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