seal off


Also, seal up. Close tightly or barricade to prevent entry or exit. For example, We're sealing off the unused wing of the building, or The jar is tightly sealed up. Dating from the first half of the 1900s, this idiom uses seal in the sense of “close securely,” as one used to do with a seal of wax.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.