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

Iran is neither a member of the EU nor subject to any European oil embargo. CBS News, "Iran ignores Trump's warning, breaks another nuclear deal limit on uranium enrichment," 8 July 2019 Even more weapons have flowed in since then, despite a U.N. arms embargo, as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia back a former general attempting to take control of the capital, Tripoli. Washington Post, "In Libya, a rogues’ gallery of militias," 3 July 2019 In addition, rising fuel costs during the Arab oil embargo and increasing competition from the Japanese and other foreign car industries that specialized in sporty and fuel-efficient vehicles were threatening Detroit. Bart Barnes, The Denver Post, "Lee Iacocca, who rescued Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s, dies at 94," 2 July 2019 In 1973, tensions between the United States and the Arab world sparked an oil embargo that sent gas prices soaring. Emiko Jozuka, CNN, "How Honda survived a trade war with the US and won over Americans," 26 June 2019 In the 1980, the U.S. grain embargo against the Soviet Union caused a crisis as other countries jumped in to sell their grain. Lynn Brezosky, ExpressNews.com, "Trade war with China is hitting Texas grain farmers," 6 June 2019 The tightening of the decades-old U.S. embargo on Cuba will further wound its crippled economy, as well as hurt U.S. travel companies that had built up Cuban business during the brief 2014-2016 detente between the old Cold War foes. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Cruises to Cuba thrown into upheaval by Trump’s sudden ban," 5 June 2019 The theme park was never built, a casualty of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, which made road trips prohibitively expensive for most Americans. Michael Hardy, WIRED, "The Annual Super-Celebration in Superman's Real-World Home," 3 July 2018 The near-total embargo imposed by the United States on Iranian industries has prompted European and international firms to withdraw investments, including in the nation’s lucrative oil and gas sectors. William Branigin, The Denver Post, "Trump signs order imposing new sanctions on Iran, warns U.S. “restraint” is limited," 24 June 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

13 Jul 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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