Definition of cordon in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɔːd(ə)n/


1A line or circle of police, soldiers, or guards preventing access to or from an area or building: the crowd was halted in front of the police cordon
More example sentences
  • Following the discovery, police threw a cordon round the area and set up a 24-hour guard to protect the site.
  • Soldiers forming a cordon around the police station became involved, and a wall was demolished by a British tank as they struggled to ‘collect’ the men, the MoD said.
  • Police set up cordons around the area and closed the lower end of the High Street while firefighters began carrying out their investigations.
barrier, line, column, row, file, ranks, chain, ring, circle;
picket line
informal crocodile
2A fruit tree trained to grow as a single stem.
Example sentences
  • Somebody recently showed me five different varieties of apples on cordons (single stems grown at 45 degrees to the ground) against a 4ft featherboard fence.
  • Vines are generally cordon or single Guyot trained.
  • Specimen half-standard fruit trees can be grown as features in the lawn or borders, and mini upright cordons can be grown individually, in small plantations in the borders or in pots for the patio.
3 Architecture A projecting course of brick or stone on the face of a wall.


[with object] (cordon something off)
Prevent access to or from an area or building by surrounding it with police or other guards: the city centre was cordoned off after fires were discovered in two stores
More example sentences
  • A large area surrounding the house has been cordoned off by police tape.
  • People living nearby were woken with the news at around 3am and the area was cordoned off by police tape.
  • The crews were at the scene for four hours and the area was cordoned off as police and fire investigation officers began an examination the scene.
close off, seal off, tape off, fence off, rope off, screen off, curtain off, shut off, partition off, separate off, isolate, segregate, quarantine;
seal, close, shut, blockade;
enclose, encircle, surround


Late Middle English (denoting an ornamental braid): from Italian cordone, augmentative of corda, and French cordon, diminutive of corde, both from Latin chorda 'string, rope' (see cord). sense 3 of the noun, the earliest of the current noun senses, dates from the early 18th century.

Words that rhyme with cordon

Auden, broaden, Gordon, Hordern, Jordan, warden

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cor¦don

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