A blockade is an obstacle that stands between you and something you're trying to reach. After a robbery, police might set up a blockade around the neighborhood to catch the thief.

Anything that impedes or halts progress is a blockade. If you join the military, you might find yourself building a blockade to confine your enemies and isolate them from the outside world. If you think of the root of this word, block, then you've pretty much got the meaning right there. If you don't want your little sister to disturb the house of cards you're building in my room, you can take lots of pillows and make a fort to use as a blockade to keep her from wandering in and knocking everything over.

Definitions of blockade

n a war measure that isolates some area of importance to the enemy

show 12 examples...
hide 12 examples...
a siege and massacre at a mission in San Antonio in 1836; Mexican forces under Santa Anna besieged and massacred American rebels who were fighting to make Texas independent of Mexico
battle of Atlanta
a siege in which Federal troops under Sherman cut off the railroads supplying the city and then burned it; 1864
the peninsula and island in the Philippines where Japanese forces besieged American forces in World War II; United States forces surrendered in 1942 and recaptured the area in 1945
Dien Bien Phu
the French military base fell after a siege by Vietnam troops that lasted 56 days; ended the involvement of France in Indochina in 1954
the British residents of Lucknow were besieged by Indian insurgents during the Indian Mutiny (1857)
siege of Orleans
a long siege of Orleans by the English was relieved by Joan of Arc in 1429
Petersburg Campaign
the final campaign of the American Civil War (1864-65); Union forces under Grant besieged and finally defeated Confederate forces under Lee
the town was taken from the Turks by the Russians in 1877 after a siege of 143 days
siege of Syracuse
the Athenian siege of Syracuse (415-413 BC) was eventually won by Syracuse
siege of Syracuse
the Roman siege of Syracuse (214-212 BC) was eventually won by the Romans who sacked the city (killing Archimedes)
siege of Vicksburg
a decisive battle in the American Civil War (1863); after being besieged for nearly seven weeks the Confederates surrendered
siege of Yorktown
in 1781 the British under Cornwallis surrendered after a siege of three weeks by American and French troops; the surrender ended the American Revolution
naval blockade
the interdiction of a nation's lines of communication at sea by the use of naval power
beleaguering, besieging, military blockade, siege
the action of an armed force that surrounds a fortified place and isolates it while continuing to attack
Type of:
action, military action
a military engagement

n something that prevents access or progress

Type of:
impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor
any structure that makes progress difficult

v obstruct access to

block off
Type of:
block, close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
block passage through

v hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of

block, embarrass, hinder, obstruct, stymie, stymy
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
obstruct or hinder any discussion
obstruct deliberately by delaying
block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey
prevent from reaching a verdict, of a jury
slow down or impede by creating an obstruction
Type of:
forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, prevent
keep from happening or arising; make impossible

v impose a blockade on

seal off
Type of:
beleaguer, besiege, circumvent, hem in, surround
surround so as to force to give up

v render unsuitable for passage

bar, barricade, block, block off, block up, stop
block, obstruct
shut out from view or get in the way so as to hide from sight
block off, close off, shut off
block off the passage through
bar access to
Type of:
block, close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
block passage through

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.