- a line of police, sentinels, military posts, warships, etc., enclosing or guarding an area.
- a cord or braid worn for ornament or as a fastening.
- a ribbon worn usually diagonally across the breast as a badge of a knightly or honorary order.
- a projecting course of stones at the base of a parapet.
- the coping of a scarp.
- a stringcourse, especially one having little or no projection.
- a cut-stone riser on a stepped ramp or the like.
- a fruit tree or shrub trained to grow along a support or a series of such supports.
- to surround or blockade with or as with a cordon (usually followed by off): The police cordoned off the street.
Origin of cordon
Examples from the Web for cordon
I threaded my way through the silent throng of spectators, but was stopped at Fourth Street by a cordon of police.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
Turkish authorities poured into the small town to cordon off the sites, with riot police keeping the crowds away.Car-Bomb Explosions Rock Turkey
May 11, 2013
Cordon off a few key machines and the assembly line cannot function.
A group of people can cordon off your dies and force management to use nightsticks if they want to get at them.
The first part I read, a minor Cordon Bleu instructor, required me to say the words “an egg.”Joan Juliet Buck on Being in Awe of Nora Ephron
Joan Juliet Buck
June 27, 2012
By the time he reached the cordon a violent fusillade was in progress.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
A cordon of cottages at a little distance were the homes of the assistant warders.A Son of Hagar
Sir Hall Caine
How I should like to have drawn a cordon of policemen round the party and netted the whole.Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
And in the name of friendship, let me beg of you to place this cordon in your hat.Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume II (of II)
Charles James Lever
I'm trying to form a cordon, but this damned mob's in the way.
- a chain of police, soldiers, ships, etc, stationed around an area
- a ribbon worn as insignia of honour or rank
- a cord or ribbon worn as an ornament or fastening
- Also called: string course, belt course, table architect an ornamental projecting band or continuous moulding along a wall
- horticulture a form of fruit tree consisting of a single stem bearing fruiting spurs, produced by cutting back all lateral branches
- (tr often foll by off) to put or form a cordon (around); close (off)
Word Origin and History for cordon
mid-15c., "cord or ribbon worn as an ornament," from Middle French cordon "ribbon," diminutive of Old French corde "cord" (see cord). Sense of "a line of people or things guarding something" is 1758. Original sense preserved in cordon bleu (1727) "the highest distinction," literally "blue ribbon," for the sky-blue ribbon worn by the Knights-grand-cross of the Holy Ghost (highest order of chivalry); extended figuratively to other persons of distinction, especially, jocularly, to a first-rate cook. Cordon sanitaire (1857), from French, a guarded line between infected and uninfected districts.
1560s, "to ornament with a ribbon;" 1891 as "to guard with a cordon;" from cordon (n.). Related: Cordoned; cordoning.