Definition of blockade in English:



  • 1An act or means of sealing off a place to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving.

    ‘they voted to lift the blockade of major railway junctions’
    • ‘Because the problem with dirt is that the media had imposed virtually an iron blockade when it came to the really personal stuff.’
    • ‘The cotton factory owners were pleading with the government to intervene on the side of the South in order to lift the blockade.’
    • ‘The second major contribution of the blockade was that it prevented the South from exploiting its ability to set cotton prices.’
    • ‘He demanded their removal and imposed a naval blockade on the delivery of weapons to Cuba.’
    • ‘In response, the Soviet Union imposed an economic blockade.’
    • ‘The British then imposed a blockade which restricted trade with France and the USA and prevented the movement of French warships at Martinique, and of French gold shipped there.’
    • ‘The Allies' plan was to strangle the German war economy by imposing a blockade while meanwhile building up their own military strength.’
    • ‘We must remember this fact because it refutes the argument that one imposes a blockade, embargo, or sanction as a bloodless and humane way of coercing the leaders of a target country.’
    • ‘They imposed an economic blockade on the city, forcing people to queue for hours in the heat to enter or leave, and requiring them to show identification in English.’
    • ‘We don't think the economic blockade is going to produce a constructive and desirable result.’
    • ‘In the process maybe you participate in a blockade and prevent politician X from entering forum X.’
    • ‘The blockade meant that lorries attempting to enter or leave the factory were stopped from doing so.’
    • ‘With the submarine, the longstanding naval strategy of close blockades of enemy ports had to be abandoned.’
    • ‘However, for a long time the residents showed a reluctance to lift the blockade.’
    • ‘About 500 workers imposed a blockade on the factory on October 14 after being abruptly informed that the plant was closed and the workforce sacked.’
    • ‘Throughout 1940 and 1941 the USA tightened an economic blockade of Japan which threatened to cut off most Japanese oil supplies.’
    • ‘This produced angry protest blockades of bin lorries, with local people saying that unless all bins were collected then none would be.’
    • ‘His had been simple - lift the blockade, no questions asked.’
    • ‘They advanced yard by yard, imposing a strict blockade with barbed wire and blockhouses.’
    • ‘The two were jailed for refusing to give undertakings that they would not defy a court order, by taking part in blockades of refuse lorries.’
    siege, beleaguerment, encirclement
    barricade, barrier, roadblock
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An obstruction of a physiological or mental function, especially of a biochemical receptor.
      • ‘Interestingly, blockade of this receptor not only seems to affect appetite, but also seems to help with cravings for nicotine.’
      • ‘Sexual behavior decreases because of a reduction of plasma testosterone as well as the receptor blockade.’
      • ‘However, several significant medical contraindications to beta blockade are present.’
      • ‘The blockade of these receptors can therefore facilitate dopaminergic transmission by stimulating dopamine release and by potentiating the effects of dopamine receptor stimulation.’
      • ‘The mechanism for this benefit is most likely a blockade of aldosterone receptors.’
      • ‘One would expect the effect of blockade on airways function to be rapid and indeed the risk ceases to be significant after the first year of exposure.’


[with object]
  • Seal off (a place) to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving.

    ‘the authorities blockaded roads in and out of the capital’
    • ‘The students from the youth activist group blockaded an intersection just outside the central plaza.’
    • ‘Over the weekend peace activists blockaded the road and entered the plant, which is near Reading.’
    • ‘Ironically, it was the indigenous people who first recognised the impending catastrophe and took action by blockading logging roads - only to be jailed in large numbers by the authorities.’
    • ‘The Federal ships blockading the port closed as near as they dared and managed to shoot a cannon ball through the Denbigh's wheelhouse.’
    • ‘Overseas colonies were ruthlessly picked off, and the Republic's ports were blockaded.’
    • ‘Thirty people were arrested for blockading the street outside the convention by locking themselves together around organic plants and symbols of an environmentally sustainable future.’
    • ‘But the Americans blockaded the road and refused to let people enter.’
    • ‘Town Hall bosses have criticised residents who blockaded a road after a three-old-boy was involved in an accident with a car.’
    • ‘The groups have blockaded roads and, in some cases, set fire to vehicles.’
    • ‘Those charged are accused of blockading the lone road into the reserve and intimidating the community to the point where 400 members felt the need to flee.’
    • ‘Ricardo himself fled before the place was completely blockaded.’
    • ‘Several blocks from the building, she found the area was blockaded by police.’
    • ‘For five days, London traffic ground to a standstill when police blockaded the area.’
    • ‘One voice in the assembling crowd called out, ‘The government's been blockading this town for too long!’’
    • ‘Protesters responded by blockading the streets, piling rocks and logs onto roads.’
    • ‘There they blockaded the access road with vehicles, and when construction workers arrived, denied them access.’
    • ‘Police arrested eight protesters blockading the road outside the consulate.’
    • ‘For 900 days the city was blockaded by the Nazi's and the sight of a book about another siege brought back memories.’
    • ‘But no help came, the baronial forces blockaded the city, and the rebel front began to crumble.’
    • ‘The drivers blockaded roads and disrupted traffic in the centre of the city.’
    barricade, close up, block off, shut off, seal, bar
    View synonyms


  • run a blockade

    • (of a ship) manage to enter or leave a blockaded port.

      ‘vessels suspected of running the UN blockade’
      • ‘Since his health had not completely returned and his education had not been completed he ran a blockade and went to Europe.’
      • ‘So they will actually be able to run a blockade if they come across one.’
      • ‘Our soldiers battled for Stalingrad, ran a blockade of Leningrad, set free our land and peoples of Europe from fascism, stormed Berlin under the red flag of our powerful country.’
      • ‘Fifty-seven suspects trying to run a blockade were arrested on the ship.’
      • ‘During the Spanish American War the ‘Adula’ was seized June 29, 1898 by the U.S. cruiser ‘Marblehead’ for attempting to run a blockade at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.’
      • ‘At first, Russia wanted the entire city - they even ran a blockade to claim it, but the division was finally allowed.’
      • ‘Fourthly, more and more foreigners used Beijing as their springboard to run a blockade to the third country.’
      • ‘He was captured while running a blockade off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and placed in an army prison at Point Lookout, Maryland.’
      • ‘If the neutral ship owner tries to run a blockade and is caught, his property suffers penalty, just as dealers trying to introduce provisions into a besieged town would lose their venture.’
      • ‘It is so desperate that they will risk running a blockade without any support since there is no other chance of their survival.’


Late 17th century: from block + -ade, probably influenced by ambuscade.