any restriction imposed upon commerce by edict, especially against a certain country as a penalty or to induce compliance with demands or legal obligations: The United Nations fact-finding mission recommended the imposition of an arms embargo and other targeted economic sanctions on the rogue state.The software may not be exported into any country with which the United States maintains a trade embargo prohibiting the shipment of goods.
an order of a government prohibiting the movement of merchant ships into or out of its ports.
an injunction from a government commerce agency to refuse freight for shipment, as in case of congestion or insufficient facilities.
a restraint or hindrance; prohibition: A one-year embargo on her published dissertation allowed only the title, abstract, and citation information to be released to the public.
to impose an embargo on.
- pre·em·bar·go, adjective
- boycott, embargo
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use embargo in a sentence
The BBC embargoed previews of the Panorama documentary until transmission.
Almost all the hundreds of hours of interviews I conducted were embargoed—that is, not for publication before the end of 2008.
There are even many kinds of industrial raw materials and products which have never been embargoed by the Western Governments.East-West Trade Trends | Harold E. Stassen
It is understood that both rubber and leather, together with wool, have been embargoed by most of the belligerent countries.Current History, A Monthly Magazine | New York Times
For the use of such embargoed vessels during the war the usual daily freight is to be paid.
Napoleon decreed, and embargoed, and sequestered, with little effect upon national sentiment outside of New England.Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 | Alfred Thayer Mahan
The ardent friends of the bankrupt bill embargoed both the others until their favorite measure was secure.Thirty Years' View (Vol. II of 2) | Thomas Hart Benton
British Dictionary definitions for embargo
a government order prohibiting the departure or arrival of merchant ships in its ports
any legal stoppage of commerce: an embargo on arms shipments
a restraint, hindrance, or prohibition
to lay an embargo upon
to seize for use by the state
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
Cultural definitions for embargo
A governmental restriction on trade for political purposes. The objective is to put pressure on other governments by prohibiting exports to or imports from those countries.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.