quarantine

1 of 2

noun

quar·​an·​tine ˈkwȯr-ən-ˌtēn How to pronounce quarantine (audio)
ˈkwär-
1
: a period of 40 days
2
a
: a term during which a ship arriving in port and suspected of carrying contagious disease is held in isolation from the shore
b
: a regulation placing a ship in quarantine
c
: a place where a ship is detained during quarantine
3
a
: a restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests
b
: a place in which those under quarantine are kept
4
: a state of enforced isolation

quarantine

2 of 2

verb

quarantined; quarantining

transitive verb

1
: to detain in or exclude by quarantine
2
: to isolate from normal relations or communication
quarantine an aggressor

intransitive verb

: to establish or declare a quarantine

Examples of quarantine in a Sentence

Noun The infected people were put into quarantine. The cows will be kept in quarantine for another week. The dog was put under quarantine. Verb The hospital quarantined the infected patients. The dog was immediately quarantined.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Lupe started working on Samurai during the Covid-19 quarantine era while creating other projects, including 2022’s Drill Music In Zion. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 5 July 2024 Seven states have instituted quarantine programs to limit cross-border transportation of lanternfly eggs and live insects. Lauren Leffer, Popular Science, 4 July 2024
Verb
Patrick and Tashi are training when COVID-19 lockdowns hit and are forced to quarantine together, while Art spirals. Vulture Staff, Vulture, 1 May 2024 Filming began in the summer of 2021, amid mask and social-distancing mandates, and Louis-Dreyfus had to quarantine in London for two weeks before arriving on set, which made building the intimate mother-daughter bond a challenge. Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 19 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for quarantine 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quarantine.' 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

Noun

partly modification of French quarantaine, from Old French, from quarante forty, from Latin quadraginta, from quadra- (akin to quattuor four) + -ginta (akin to viginti twenty); partly modification of Italian quarantena quarantine of a ship, from quaranta forty, from Latin quadraginta — more at four, vigesimal

First Known Use

Noun

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1801, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quarantine was in 1617

Dictionary Entries Near quarantine

Cite this Entry

“Quarantine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quarantine. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

quarantine

1 of 2 noun
quar·​an·​tine ˈkwȯr-ən-ˌtēn How to pronounce quarantine (audio)
ˈkwär-
1
: a period during which a ship arriving in port and suspected of carrying contagious disease is forbidden contact with the shore
2
: a limiting or forbidding of movements of persons or goods that is designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests
3
: the period during which a person with a contagious disease is under quarantine
4
: a place where persons are kept in quarantine

quarantine

2 of 2 verb
quarantined; quarantining
: to put or hold in quarantine : isolate
Etymology

Noun

from Italian quarantena "quarantine, period of forty days," probably from early French quarantaine "period of forty days," from earlier quarante "forty," from Latin quadraginta "forty," from quadra- "four"

Word Origin
As bad as contagious diseases are today, they were much more frightening in the Middle Ages. No effective treatment or cure was known then. When it was found out that ships could carry diseases from port to port, authorities acted to protect their citizens. Any ship suspected of carrying a disease was forced to remain offshore for a time. Usually about forty days had to pass before it was allowed to dock. Then if no signs of disease were found on the ship, it was allowed to unload its passengers and cargo. The Italians called this restriction period quarantena. They based the word on a French word quarantaine, meaning "a period of forty days." This French word was derived from the Latin quadraginta, meaning "forty." It was the Italian word that was taken into English as quarantine in the 17th century.

Medical Definition

quarantine

1 of 2 noun
quar·​an·​tine ˈkwȯr-ən-ˌtēn, ˈkwär- How to pronounce quarantine (audio)
1
a
: a term during which a ship arriving in port and suspected of carrying contagious disease is held in isolation from the shore
b
: a regulation placing a ship in quarantine
c
: a place where a ship is detained during quarantine
2
a
: a restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods that is designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests
b
: a place in which those under quarantine are kept

quarantine

2 of 2 verb
quarantined; quarantining

transitive verb

: to detain in or exclude by quarantine

intransitive verb

: to establish or declare a quarantine
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!