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
The report noted that a good deal of international travel’s recovery in 2023 can be credited to the return of Chinese international travel after that nation lifted its quarantine. Stacey Lastoe, Travel + Leisure, 7 Feb. 2024 While most Passover Seder and Easter meals were eaten last year during COVID-19 quarantine, this year’s outlook looks brighter. Jessica Swannie, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The couple confirmed their relationship in September 2020; while the world was locked down and in quarantine due to COVID, the two were bonding virtually. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 31 Jan. 2024 The astronauts stayed in quarantine for a couple of weeks. John Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 30 Jan. 2024 Visitors — including my husband, who had moved to Seoul with me — were subject to a two-week quarantine. Lauretta Charlton, New York Times, 26 Jan. 2024 In July, the invasive Tau fruit fly prompted a quarantine in Los Angeles County. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2024 That year, Hong Kong also granted Oscar-winner Kidman an exemption from its tough Covid-19 quarantine rules to film in the city. Issy Ronald, CNN, 30 Jan. 2024 Related Articles 2019-20: Perspectives remain mixed about the 2019-20 season that ended in the quarantine pandemic bubble at Disney World. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 13 Jan. 2024
Verb
The Oppenheimer star could also possibly act in the project, although details are being quarantined. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Jan. 2024 The result was The White Lotus, written at speed in August 2020 and filmed at leisure, from October to December, with cast and crew quarantined in the resort for the duration. James Medd, Condé Nast Traveler, 31 Jan. 2024 The worst Covid outbreak took hold on the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan. The Week Staff, theweek, 15 Jan. 2024 This led to over 20 million such alerts, each of which came with a request to quarantine—quite a burden. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 20 Dec. 2023 As a result, poultry farmers in the county have been forced to destroy more than 1 million birds while trying to quarantine their flocks to curb the outbreak. Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2024 Health officials recommend anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to quarantine alone at home and stay away from other people. Dr. Angela Zhang, ABC News, 8 Jan. 2024 They were quarantined for nearly a month at Edinburgh Zoo before being released in the Cairngorms, a mountain range in the Highlands, where their progress was monitored. Naï Zakharia, New York Times, 23 Dec. 2023 But when she was quarantined during COVID, Ryan received a draft of the What Happens Later script, which was based on Steven Dietz’s 2009 stage play Shooting Star and is available now on demand. Caitlin Brody, Glamour, 30 Nov. 2023 See More

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 24 Feb. 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
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