Definition of cordon sanitaire in English:

cordon sanitaire

Syllabification: cor·don sa·ni·taire
Pronunciation: /ˌkôrdôn ˌsänēˈter

noun (plural cordons sanitaires pronounced same)

1A guarded line preventing anyone from leaving an area infected by a disease and thus spreading it.
More example sentences
  • Why not destroy the cattle exhibiting the symptoms and produce a cordon sanitaire by vaccinating the sheep, whether they present the symptoms or not?
  • 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.
1.1A measure designed to prevent communication or the spread of undesirable influences: these rules help to reinforce the cordon sanitaire around the Pentagon
More example sentences
  • The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.
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'.

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