One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A guarded line preventing anyone from leaving an area infected by a disease and thus spreading it.‘inoculations replaced cordons sanitaires as a major medical intervention’
- ‘The village agreed to establish a cordon sanitaire around it that nobody was to cross for any reason until the disease had burned itself out.’
- ‘Why not destroy the cattle exhibiting the symptoms and produce a cordon sanitaire by vaccinating the sheep, whether they present the symptoms or not?’
- 1.1 A measure designed to prevent communication or the spread of undesirable influences.‘these rules help to reinforce the cordon sanitaire around Whitehall’
- ‘The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.’
Mid 19th century: French, from cordon ‘line, border’ (see cordon) + sanitaire ‘sanitary’.
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