definition of quarantining by The Free Dictionary


 (kwôr′ən-tēn′, kwŏr′-)



a. A condition, period of time, or place in which a person, animal, plant, vehicle, or amount of material suspected of carrying an infectious agent is kept in confinement or isolated in an effort to prevent disease from spreading.

b. An action resulting in such a condition: the government’s quarantine of the animals.


a. An action to isolate another nation, such as a blockade of its ports or a severance of diplomatic or trade relations.

b. The condition of being isolated by such an action.

3. Computers The isolation of data or data transmissions in order to keep viruses, worms, or other malware from infecting a computer or computer network.

tr.v. quar·an·tined, quar·an·tin·ing, quar·an·tines

To isolate in quarantine.

[Italian quarantena, from Venetian dialectal Italian, quarantine of a ship (so called because the length of the quarantine was typically forty days), from Old Italian quarantina, period of forty days (such as one designated for fasting or penance), from quaranta, forty, from Latin quadrāgintā; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots.]

quar′an·tin′a·ble adj.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




1. (Medicine) a period of isolation or detention, esp of persons or animals arriving from abroad, to prevent the spread of disease, usually consisting of the maximum known incubation period of the suspected disease

2. (Medicine) the place or area where such detention is enforced

3. any period or state of enforced isolation

vb (tr)

4. to isolate in or as if in quarantine

5. Austral to withhold (a portion of a welfare payment) from a person or group of people

[C17: from Italian quarantina period of forty days, from quaranta forty, from Latin quadrāgintā]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkwɔr ənˌtin, ˈkwɒr-, ˌkwɔr ənˈtin, ˌkwɒr-)

n., v. -tined, -tin•ing. n.

1. a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease.

2. a period, orig. 40 days, of detention or isolation imposed upon ships, people, animals, or plants on arrival at a port or place, when suspected of carrying a contagious disease.

3. a system of measures maintained at ports, frontiers, etc., for preventing the spread of disease.

4. a place or station at which such measures are carried out, as a place where ships are detained.

5. the detention or isolation enforced.

6. the place, as a hospital, where people are detained.

7. social, political, or economic isolation imposed as a punishment.

8. a period of 40 days.


9. to put in or subject to quarantine.

10. to exclude, detain, or isolate for political or social reasons.

[1600–10; < Italian quarantina period of forty days, derivative of quaranta forty « Latin quadrāgintā]

quar′an•tin`a•ble, adj.

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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