Definition of cordon sanitaire in English:

cordon sanitaire


  • 1A guarded line preventing anyone from leaving an area infected by a disease and thus spreading it.

    • ‘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. 1.1A measure designed to prevent communication or the spread of undesirable influences.
      ‘these rules help to reinforce the cordon sanitaire around the Pentagon’
      • ‘The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.’
    2. 1.2A series or chain of small neutral buffer states around a larger, potentially dangerous or hostile state.


Mid 19th century: French, from cordon line, border (see cordon) + sanitaire sanitary.


cordon sanitaire

/ˌkôrdôn ˌsänēˈter/