Definition of quarantine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwɒrəntiːn/


[mass noun]
A state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed: many animals die in quarantine
More example sentences
  • For nearly one hundred years, bringing a pet into Britain involved a six month period in quarantine.
  • Patients are considered contagious and should remain in quarantine until all scabs separate.
  • After the transplant she had to spend six months in quarantine to avoid catching an infection while her immune system recovered, but now she is fit and well.


[with object]
Put (a person or animal) in quarantine: I quarantine all new fish for one month they had to quarantine infected households
More example sentences
  • The patients are now quarantined in normal wards and recovering from fever, the Central News Agency reported.
  • Because the aim, as I see it, will be for embassies to get all the ex-pats and tourists home before borders are closed to us and we are quarantined.
  • Some areas are quarantining returning migrants, while teams are being organised to bring in crops so that workers don't have to return to help with the harvest, they said.


Mid 17th century: from Italian quarantina 'forty days', from quaranta 'forty'.

  • Literally meaning ‘40 days’, quarantine comes from Italian quarantina, from quaranta ‘40’. In the early 16th century this was the number of days during which a widow had the right to remain in her deceased husband's house. A more familiar meaning refers to a period of isolation imposed on a person or animal to test that they are not carrying a contagious disease. This was first used in English in the mid 17th century, though the practice dates back to the 14th century, when the ports of Venice and Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) required ships from plague-stricken countries to lie at anchor for 40 days before they were allowed to enter the ports.

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Line breaks: quar¦an|tine

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