9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[em-bahr-goh] /ɛmˈbɑr goʊ/
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.
Origin of embargo
1595-1605; < Spanish, derivative of embargar to hinder, embarrass < Vulgar Latin *imbarricāre, equivalent to im- im-1 + -barricāre (*barr(a) bar1 + -icāre causative suffix)
Related forms
preembargo, adjective
Can be confused
boycott, embargo.
4. ban, restriction, interdiction, postscription. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for embargoed
  • Twelve is profoundly guarded about the details of the embargoed book, as it angles for a huge best seller.
  • It was open season on every company that had been embargoed.
  • The books and tapes were warehoused, embargoed, surrounded with the hush-hush of great revelations withheld.
  • There are some travel restrictions with respect to certain embargoed countries.
British Dictionary definitions for embargoed


noun (pl) -goes
a government order prohibiting the departure or arrival of merchant ships in its ports
any legal stoppage of commerce: an embargo on arms shipments
a restraint, hindrance, or prohibition
verb (transitive) -goes, -going, -goed
to lay an embargo upon
to seize for use by the state
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish, from embargar, from Latin im- + barrabar1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for embargoed



1590s, from Spanish embargo "seizure, embargo," noun of action from embargar "restrain impede," from Vulgar Latin *imbarricare, from in- "into, upon" (see in- (2)) + *barra (see bar (n.1)). As a verb, from 1640s. Related: Embargoed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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embargoed in Culture

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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