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Etymology 1[edit]

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

Alternative forms[edit]


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 March 20, 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.
    The tourists were put into quarantine for fear they would infect the locals.
  2. Such official detention of a ship at or off port due to suspicion that it may be carrying a contagious disease aboard.
    • 1831, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Romance and Reality, volume 1, pages 137-138:
      The lady stared; but a single question elicited the fatal truth—the vessel was under quarantine, and once on board there was no quitting it.
  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.
    Singaporeans coming into Singapore from India would have to quarantine for 21 days at a dedicated facility.
  5. (by extension) Any rigorous measure of isolation, regardless of the reason.
    Singapore went into a circuit breaker quarantine where gatherings of any size was prohibited.
  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