General English


  • noun a period of time during which specific information in a press release must not be published
  • verb to stop trade, or not to allow something to be traded


  • noun a government order which stops a type of trade, such as exports to or other commercial activity with another country


  • verb not to allow publication of information for a period of time

Media Studies

  • noun a request not to release material until a particular time or date


  • noun a government order which stops something, e.g. a type of trade
  • verb to stop something, or not to allow something to take place

Origin & History of “embargo”

Something that has been embargoed has been literally ‘placed behind bars’ (compare (embarrass)). The word comes from vulgar Latin *imbarricāre, which was formed from the Latin prefix in- ‘in’ and Vulgar Latin *barra (source of English bar). this passed into Spanish as embargar ‘impede, restrain’, and its derived noun embargo was borrowed into English.