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

Antonyms: Noun

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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 This likely will provide new fodder for the U.S., which has been actively campaigning to keep a United Nations arms embargo in place on Iran that is due to expire in November. Nasser Karimi, Anchorage Daily News, "Friendly-fire incident during training exercise kills at least 19 Iranian sailors," 11 May 2020 There was no embargo in 1979, but there was a production cut attendant upon the overthrow of the shah of Iran, a significant price increase, and, again, market chaos in the U.S. caused by the imposition of price and allocation controls. Benjamin Zycher, National Review, "Oil-Market Central Planning: Not Just for Socialists Anymore," 30 Mar. 2020 State Department officials worked to reverse the U.N. partition plan and prevent Israel’s birth, including convincing Truman to impose an embargo on weapons sales to the Middle East. Boaz Dvir, The Conversation, "Biden and Trump agree on strong US-Israel relations – Bernie, not so much," 13 Mar. 2020 In August 2014, Russia placed an embargo on all U.S. food products to retaliate for sanctions the U.S and other Western countries imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. Anchorage Daily News, "Russia-Alaska seafood trade remains a one-way street benefiting Russia," 18 Feb. 2020 Since President Trump’s election, the U.S. has effectively imposed an embargo on Iranian exports, with the support of the Saudis and other Arab oil states. Taylor Dinerman, WSJ, "Jimmy Carter’s Persian Gulf Success," 22 Jan. 2020 One measure that could matter to Tehran if reimposed would restore an essentially blanket arms embargo on Iran. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "France, Germany and U.K. Serve Notice on Iran Under Nuclear Deal," 14 Jan. 2020 Accuracy in painting, which may depend on whether your country has an embargo on the source of the perfect blue, seems to chasten Hass’s comparatively too easy art. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "Robert Hass’s Inner History of the Decade," 13 Jan. 2020 The Trump administration reimposed a harsh embargo on the Iranian economy last year. BostonGlobe.com, "Iran bars U.N. nuclear inspector from uranium-enrichment plant - The Boston Globe," 8 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "'Star Wars': First Reactions from 'Rise of Skywalker' Premiere," 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, "Duchess Kate Lands in Pakistan Wearing an Elegant Light Blue Dress and Pants," 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, "Macmillan spat over e-books highlights library woe — and that’s bad news for readers," 12 Aug. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for embargo

Time Traveler

The first known use of embargo was in 1602

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Statistics for embargo

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embargo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embargo. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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
How to pronounce embargo (audio)

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
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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