noun, plural embargoes.
an order of a government prohibiting the movement of merchant ships into or out of its ports.
an injunction from a government commerce agency to refuse freight for shipment, as in case of congestion or insufficient facilities.
any restriction imposed upon commerce by edict.
a restraint or hindrance; prohibition.
verb (used with object), embargoed, embargoing.
to impose an embargo on.

1595–1605; < Spanish, derivative of embargar to hinder, embarrass < Vulgar Latin *imbarricāre, equivalent to im- im-1 + -barricāre (*barr(a) bar1 + -icāre causative suffix)

preembargo, adjective

boycott, embargo.

4. ban, restriction, interdiction, postscription.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
embargo (ɛmˈbɑːɡəʊ)
n , pl -goes
1.  a government order prohibiting the departure or arrival of merchant ships in its ports
2.  any legal stoppage of commerce: an embargo on arms shipments
3.  a restraint, hindrance, or prohibition
vb , -goes, -goes, -going, -goed
4.  to lay an embargo upon
5.  to seize for use by the state
[C16: from Spanish, from embargar, from Latin im- + barrabar1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1593, from Sp. embargo "seizure, embargo," noun of action from embargar "restrain impede," from V.L. *imbarricare, from in- "into, upon" + *barra (see bar).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

embargo definition

A governmental restriction on trade for political purposes. The objective is to put pressure on other governments by prohibiting exports to or imports from those countries.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It was believed than an embargo on certain ranges of commodities could help
  effectively to maintain this superiority.
The lifting of the arms embargo, they insist, would be “symbolic”
  in nature.
The overhyped stories that appeared before and just after the embargo lifted
  were obviously a problem.
In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to
  normalize relations.
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