Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Embargo

Quick Summary of Embargo

An official ban on trade or other commercial activity with a particular country.

What is the dictionary definition of Embargo?

Dictionary Definition

Economic sanctions (synonym: embargo) are commercial and financial penalties applied by one or more countries against a targeted self-governing state, group, or individual.

  1. An order by the government prohibiting ships from leaving port.
  2. A ban on trade with another country.
  3. A temporary ban on making certain information public.
  4. To impose an embargo on trading certain goods with another country.
  5. To impose an embargo on a document.

Full Definition of Embargo

In international commerce, an embargo is a government-mandated sanction that restricts trade with a foreign county.

An embargo can restrict imports, or exports, or both. The rationale for an embargo is political punishment of a country. For instance, the 1973 oil crisis affecting the United States resulted from OPEC’s embargo on oil sales to the US in retaliation for providing military assistance to Israel. The embargo is prone to hurt the domestic industries affected by the policy and to invite retaliation. The US uses the embargo in many specific contexts, particularly against countries it considers to be sponsors of terrorism. Less extreme restraints on free trade than the embargo, such as tariffs and export duties are even more common. The term embargo is sometimes misused to apply to a boycott, which is generally a grass-roots movement to cease purchasing from a business, also as a means of punishment.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Embargo. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 22, 2021 https://payrollheaven.com/define/embargo/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Embargo. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/embargo/ (accessed: September 22, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Embargo. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/embargo/

Definition Sources

Definitions for Embargo are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 6th April, 2020 | 13 Views.