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

Synonyms & Antonyms for embargo

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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When Should You Use embargo?

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 around the year 1600, derives via Spanish embargar from Vulgar Latin imbarricare, formed from the prefix im- 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 The embargo, contained in the sixth round of EU sanctions, is expected to win final approval from member countries within days. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 5 May 2022 An embargo, if implemented, and this will be tricky to pull off, would have grave consequences for Russia’s economy, but also for Europe. Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, 4 May 2022 After weeks of reluctance over banning Russian oil imports, German officials today (Apr. 29) reversed course, agreeing to a gradual, EU-wide embargo. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 29 Apr. 2022 Similar measures were taken during the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, when Germany imposed car-free Sundays. CBS News, 21 Apr. 2022 The package does not answer calls for an embargo on Russian oil or natural gas — an issue that continues to divide the E.U. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 The reserve was created by President Gerald Ford in 1975 in the aftermath of the Arab oil embargo, which damaged the U.S. economy. NBC News, 1 Apr. 2022 Ukrainian officials have sought Israeli defense equipment to counter the Russian threat, but Israel has imposed a near-total embargo on selling weapons, including Pegasus, to Ukraine. New York Times, 23 Mar. 2022 Entering the elevator all at once are an economic recession, an oil embargo, and a floating dollar suddenly linked no longer to the price of gold. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 16 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb More than two months into Russia's war on Ukraine, the European Union on Wednesday announced plans to embargo Russian oil, its biggest economic sacrifice yet to stifle the Russian economy and President Vladimir Putin. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 5 May 2022 But the conflict is also a war against NATO, given Ukraine’s position as an applicant, NATO’s military support for Ukraine, and NATO’s willingness to embargo Russian products and cut off Russian energy. Seth Cropsey, WSJ, 27 Apr. 2022 The government has resisted pressure to preemptively embargo Russian energy supplies, as the United States has done, saying that an immediate end to imports would wreak havoc on the German economy. Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2022 With resurgent post-Covid demand and US plans to embargo Russian crude imports, global prices will likely continue to climb. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2022 Film studios agree and will embargo early reviews to keep plots secret. Bonnie Kristian, The Week, 6 Oct. 2021 Early reactions to the film are coming in from Monday's Hollywood premiere, and although official reviews are embargoed until Wednesday, these are the first public reactions. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Dec. 2019 The couple's exact itinerary is embargoed every day due to security risks, which include tensions between Pakistan and India being extremely strained over Kashmir. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 Oct. 2019 Macmillan believes that e-book lending depresses sales and is experimenting with embargoing some titles from being distributed through libraries for four months. John Warner, chicagotribune.com, 12 Aug. 2019 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for embargo

Time Traveler

The first known use of embargo was in 1602

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Dictionary Entries Near embargo

embarcadero

embargo

embark

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Statistics for embargo

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Embargo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embargo. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for embargo

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on embargo

Nglish: Translation of embargo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embargo for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about embargo

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