If you contract something highly infectious, such as pinkeye, please quarantine yourself so that you don’t infect others with it. This means you’ll have to stay in isolation and avoid contact with other people.

Starting in the 16th century, a quarantine lasted specifically 40 days. The word is in fact derived from the Latin quadraginta, which means "forty." Originally, this referred to the amount of time a widow could remain in her deceased husband’s house, then referred to the period of time a ship had to wait off a country’s port if its passengers were disease-stricken. Now, it can mean a period of isolation of any length, and can be used as both a verb and a noun.

Definitions of quarantine

n isolation to prevent the spread of infectious disease

Type of:
closing off, isolation
the act of isolating something; setting something apart from others

n enforced isolation of patients suffering from a contagious disease in order to prevent the spread of disease

Type of:
a state of separation between persons or groups

v place into enforced isolation, as for medical reasons

“My dog was quarantined before he could live in England”
Type of:
insulate, isolate
place or set apart

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