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[blo-keyd] /blɒˈkeɪd/
the isolating, closing off, or surrounding of a place, as a port, harbor, or city, by hostile ships or troops to prevent entrance or exit.
any obstruction of passage or progress:
We had difficulty in getting through the blockade of bodyguards.
Pathology. interruption or inhibition of a normal physiological signal, as a nerve impulse or a heart muscle–contraction impulse.
verb (used with object), blockaded, blockading.
to subject to a blockade.
Origin of blockade
1670-80; block (in the sense “to create obstacles”) + -ade1
Related forms
blockader, noun
counterblockade, noun, verb, counterblockaded, counterblockading.
nonblockaded, adjective
preblockade, noun, verb (used with object), preblockaded, preblockading.
problockade, adjective
unblockaded, adjective
Synonym Study
1. See siege. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for blockade
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Besides which he established a blockade in front of the harbour when the weather permitted.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • The blockade had raised even the most simple articles to the price of luxuries.

    The Bondwoman Marah Ellis Ryan
  • Then we will all have to get out or else be obliged to run the blockade.

  • They wont do that, and if they do, England will break the blockade.

    Among the Pines

    James R. Gilmore
  • The British Isles were declared to be in a state of blockade.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for blockade


(military) the interdiction of a nation's sea lines of communications, esp of an individual port by the use of sea power
something that prevents access or progress
(med) the inhibition of the effect of a hormone or a drug, a transport system, or the action of a nerve by a drug
verb (transitive)
to impose a blockade on
to obstruct the way to
Derived Forms
blockader, noun
Word Origin
C17: from block + -ade, as in ambuscade
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blockade

mid-17c., from block (v.) + -ade, false French ending (the French word is blocus, 18c. in this sense, which seems to be in part a back-formation from the verb bloquer and in part influenced by Middle Dutch blokhuus "blockhouse").


late 17c., from blockade (n.). Related: Blockaded; blockading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blockade in Medicine

blockade block·ade (blŏ-kād')

  1. Intravenous injection of large amounts of colloidal dyes in which the reaction of the reticuloendothelial cells to other influences is temporarily prevented.

  2. Arrest of nerve impulse transmission at autonomic synaptic junctions, autonomic receptor sites, or myoneural junctions through the action of a drug.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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