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See also: Blockade


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From block +‎ -ade.



blockade (plural blockades)

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, American forces enforced a blockade (1st sense) against Cuba to prevent Soviet ballistic missiles from being delivered to the island.
  1. The physical blocking or surrounding of a place, especially a port, in order to prevent commerce and traffic in or out.
    • 2019 October, Philip Sherratt, “Midland Main Line upgrade presses on”, in Modern Railways, page 62:
      A six-day blockade from 28 May to 2 June saw NR [National Rail] straighten the track through the station, facilitating a linespeed increase from 60mph to 85mph over a 4km stretch.
  2. (by extension) Any form of formal isolation or inhibition of something, especially with the force of law or arms.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XXII, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume I, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 265:
      In the mean time, Francesca, separated from Madame de Mercœur, was hidden by a group around the Queen of Sweden. With the wall on one side, and a human blockade on the other, she was left at full leisure to meditate on a vow made at the first announcement of the lottery, namely, that whatever might fall to her lot she would offer in a neighbouring chapel to the Virgin, at whose shrine she would kneel one hour for Guido's safe return.
  3. (nautical) The ships or other forces used to effect a naval blockade.
  4. (biology, medicine) Inhibition of the activity (function) of chemical messengers or their receptors, such as (often) receptor antagonism.
  5. (chess) Preventing an opponent's pawn moving by placing a piece in front of it.


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blockade (third-person singular simple present blockades, present participle blockading, simple past and past participle blockaded)

  1. (transitive) To create a blockade against.
    • 2020 May 6, Graeme Pickering, “Borders Railway: time for the next step”, in Rail, page 52:
      On January 5 1969, residents blockaded the level crossing at Newcastleton, ahead of the final passenger train. It was only after the then-local MP David (now Lord) Steel had alighted from the St Pancras-bound Sleeper service and negotiated their dispersal (in return for the release without charge of one of the protest organisers, Reverend Brydon Maben) that the train was allowed on its way.