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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English quarentine, from Medieval Latin quarentīna (forty days), from Latin quadrāgintā (forty).


quarantine (plural quarantines)

  1. The desert in which Christ fasted for 40 days according to the Bible.
  2. A grace period of 40 days during which a widow has the right to remain in her dead husband's home, regardless of the inheritance.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Italian quarantina (forty days), the period Venetians customarily kept ships from plague-ridden countries waiting off port,[1] from quaranta (forty), from Latin quadrāgintā.


quarantine (countable and uncountable, plural quarantines)

  1. A sanitary measure to prevent the spread of a contagious plague by isolating those believed or feared to be infected.
    • 2020, Keoni Everington, “Next 14 days are critical for Taiwan's Wuhan virus battle: Tsai”, in Taiwan News[1]:
      2. Tsai called on the public not to incite hatred or blame others for the epidemic. She then offered thanks to everyone who has dutifully followed home quarantine and self-health management protocols.
  2. Such official detention of a ship at or off port due to suspicion that it may be carrying a contagious disease aboard.
  3. A certain place for isolating persons suspected of suffering from a contagious disease.
  4. A certain period of time during which a person is isolated to determine whether they've been infected with a contagious disease.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  5. (by extension) Any rigorous measure of isolation, regardless of the reason.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  6. A record system kept by port health authorities in order to monitor and prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
  7. (computing) A place where email messages or other files which are suspected of harboring a computer virus are stored.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


quarantine (third-person singular simple present quarantines, present participle quarantining, simple past and past participle quarantined)

  1. To retain in obligatory isolation or separation, as a sanitary measure to prevent the spread of contagious disease.
  2. To put in isolation as if by quarantine
Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]




quarantine f

  1. plural of quarantina