1. A line of people, military posts, or ships stationed around an area to enclose or guard it: a police cordon.
2. A rope, line, tape, or similar border stretched around an area, usually by the police, indicating that access is restricted.
a. A cord or braid worn as a fastening or ornament.
b. A ribbon usually worn diagonally across the breast as a badge of honor or decoration.
4. Architecture A stringcourse.
5. Botany A tree or shrub, especially a fruit tree such as an apple or pear, repeatedly pruned and trained to grow on a support as a single ropelike stem.
tr.v. cor·doned, cor·don·ing, cor·dons
To form a cordon around (an area) so as to prevent movement in or out. Often used with off: Troops cordoned off the riot zone.
[French, from Old French, diminutive of corde, cord; see CORD.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.