AskDefine | Define embargo

Dictionary Definition

embargo n : a government order imposing a trade barrier [syn: trade embargo, trade stoppage]


1 ban the publication of (documents), as for security or copyright reasons; "embargoed publications"
2 prevent commerce; "The U.S. embargoes Lybia" [also: embargoes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From embargar 'to arrest'.



  1. An order by the government prohibiting ships from leaving port.
  2. A ban on trade with another country.
    • 2004: Chris Wallace, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage
      Instead he [Jefferson] proposed an embargo, an end to all trade between America and England.
  3. A temporary ban on making certain information public.
    • This copy of the federal budget is under embargo until 2 p.m.


an order by the government prohibiting ships from leaving port
  • German: Embargo, Beschlagnahme
  • Polish: embargo
a ban on trade with another country
  • German: Embargo, Ausfuhrsperre, Handelsverbot
  • Polish: embargo
a temporary ban on making certain information public
  • German: Verbot
  • Polish: embargo


  1. To impose an embargo on trading certain goods with another country.
  2. To impose an embargo on a document.

Crimean Tatar







Useinov-Mireev 2002}}


Extensive Definition

In international commerce and politics, an embargo is the prohibition of commerce (division of trade) and trade with a certain country, in order to isolate it and to put its government into a difficult internal situation, given that the effects of the embargo are often able to make its economy suffer from the initiative.
The embargo is usually used as a political punishment for some previous disagreed policies or acts, but its economic nature frequently raises doubts about the real interests that the prohibition serves.
One of the most comprehensive attempts at an embargo happened during the Napoleonic Wars. In an attempt to cripple the United Kingdom economically, the Continental System- which forbade European nations from trading with the UK- was created. In practice it was not completely enforceable and was as harmful if not more so to the nations involved than to the British.
Although the law of the United States does not prohibit participation in an embargo it does prohibit participation in a secondary embargo. This occurs when one country pressures a business to stop doing business with a third country over issues with which the business is not directly involved. Not only is an American business required not to participate in a secondary embargo, but is also required to report all attempts to get a business to participate in a secondary embargo. The situation which led to these laws are attempts by Arab countries to prevent American companies from doing business with Israel.
The typical reaction is the development of an autarky.
embargo in Bulgarian: Ембарго
embargo in Czech: Embargo
embargo in German: Embargo
embargo in Modern Greek (1453-): Εμπάργκο
embargo in Spanish: Embargo
embargo in Esperanto: Embargo
embargo in French: Embargo
embargo in Indonesian: Embargo
embargo in Italian: Embargo
embargo in Hebrew: אמברגו
embargo in Lithuanian: Embargas
embargo in Hungarian: Embargó
embargo in Dutch: Embargo
embargo in Japanese: 禁輸
embargo in Norwegian: Embargo
embargo in Polish: Embargo
embargo in Portuguese: Embargo
embargo in Russian: Эмбарго
embargo in Simple English: Embargo
embargo in Slovak: Embargo (zákaz obchodovania)
embargo in Serbian: Ембарго
embargo in Serbo-Croatian: Embargo
embargo in Finnish: Taloussaarto
embargo in Swedish: Embargo
embargo in Vietnamese: Cấm vận
embargo in Turkish: Ambargo
embargo in Ukrainian: Ембарго
embargo in Chinese: 禁運

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Eighteenth Amendment, Prohibition Party, Volstead Act, ban, bar, bar out, barrier, barring, block, blockade, blockage, boycott, cease, cessation, check, circumscription, contraband, count out, cut off, debar, debarment, debarring, demarcation, denial, deny, disallow, disallowance, enjoin, exception, exclude, exclude from, exclusion, forbid, forbiddance, forbidden fruit, forbidding, freeze out, hinder, hindrance, hold back, hold up, ignore, impede, impediment, inadmissibility, index, index expurgatorius, index librorum prohibitorum, inhibit, inhibition, injunction, interdict, interdiction, interdictum, keep out, law, leave out, lock out, lockout, narrowing, no-no, nonadmission, omission, omit, ostracize, outlaw, pass over, preclude, preclusion, prevent, prevention, prohibit, prohibition, prohibitory injunction, proscribe, proscription, refusal, refuse, reject, rejection, relegate, relegation, repress, repression, repudiate, repudiation, restrain, restraint, restrict, restriction, restrictive covenants, retard, rule out, ruling out, say no to, send to Coventry, shut out, statute, stop, stoppage, sumptuary laws, suppress, suppression, taboo, zoning, zoning laws
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