Barricade vs. Blockade — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 3, 2023
Barricade is a physical obstruction, often temporary, to block passage on roads or pathways, while blockade is an action to prevent entry or exit, often used in naval contexts or in extended areas.
Difference Between Barricade and Blockade
Table of Contents
Barricade typically refers to a physical barrier or obstruction set up, often hastily, to prevent the passage or entry on roads, streets, or other pathways. Blockade, on the other hand, often has a broader application, primarily indicating an effort to prevent entry or exit from an area, especially by naval forces.
When envisioning a barricade, one might think of hastily piled materials, temporary fencing, or even police barriers during protests. These barriers are tangible and are often meant to block a specific point of access. In contrast, a blockade suggests a more strategic and encompassing effort, aiming to seal off an entire area or region.
In historical contexts, barricades have played pivotal roles in urban uprisings or revolts, where residents use available materials to create obstructions against opposing forces. Blockades have been vital in warfare, particularly naval blockades, where a country's coastline or port is sealed off to prevent supplies and trade.
The term barricade may often imply immediacy and can be set up in response to sudden events or threats. A blockade, meanwhile, often requires planning, resources, and can be long-lasting, aiming to exert pressure on the opposing side, sometimes to the point of causing economic or resource-related hardships.
Action to prevent entry or exit.
Often temporary and used on roads or pathways.
Common in naval contexts or to seal off larger areas.
Hasty or immediate response to a threat or event.
Strategic, planned, and can be prolonged.
Limited to specific points of access.
Encompasses larger areas or entire regions.
Associated with urban uprisings or protests.
Associated with naval warfare and strategic war tactics.
Compare with Definitions
A barrier to control or direct the flow of traffic.
After the accident, a barricade was set up to divert cars.
A war measure isolating an area of importance.
The blockade severely impacted the country's economy.
An obstruction used to protect against potential threats.
The soldiers constructed a barricade to fend off the advancing enemy.
A barrier or obstacle preventing movement or access.
The blockade at the city's entrance lasted for days.
An impediment to hinder progress or action.
Emotional barricades often prevent open communication.
An act of sealing off a place to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving.
The naval blockade ensured no supplies reached the enemy port.
A temporary barrier set up to block passage.
Protesters set up a barricade to prevent police access.
A blockade is the act of actively preventing a country or region from receiving or sending out food, supplies, weapons, or communications, and sometimes people, by military force. A blockade differs from an embargo or sanction, which are legal barriers to trade rather than physical barriers.
Barricade (from the French barrique - 'barrel') is any object or structure that creates a barrier or obstacle to control, block passage or force the flow of traffic in the desired direction. Adopted as a military term, a barricade denotes any improvised field fortification, such as on city streets during urban warfare.
The isolation of a nation, area, city, or harbor by hostile ships or forces in order to prevent the entrance and exit of traffic and commerce.
A usually improvised structure set up, as across a route of access, to obstruct the passage of an enemy or opponent.
The forces used to effect this isolation.
A usually temporary structure set up to restrict or control the movement of people or conveyances
Stood behind the barricades watching the parade.
To set up a blockade against
Blockaded the harbor.
Something that serves as an obstacle; a barrier
"One of those wild minds who saw bridges where others saw barricades" (Patricia Monaghan).
The physical blocking or surrounding of a place, especially a port, in order to prevent commerce and traffic in or out.
To close off or block with a barricade.
(by extension) Any form of formal isolation or inhibition of something, especially with the force of law or arms.
To shut (oneself) in by means of a barricade, as for protection or privacy.
(nautical) The ships or other forces used to effect a naval blockade.
A barrier constructed across a road, especially as a military defence
Of the activity (function) of chemical messengers or their receptors, such as (often) receptor antagonism.
An obstacle, barrier, or bulwark.
(chess) Preventing an opponent's pawn moving by placing a piece in front of it.
A place of confrontation.
(transitive) To create a blockade against.
To close or block a road etc., using a barricade
The shutting up of a place by troops or ships, with the purpose of preventing ingress or egress, or the reception of supplies; as, the blockade of the ports of an enemy.
To keep someone in (or out), using a blockade, especially ships in a port
An obstruction to passage.
A fortification, made in haste, of trees, earth, palisades, wagons, or anything that will obstruct the progress or attack of an enemy. It is usually an obstruction formed in streets to block an enemy's access.
Interference with transmission of a physiological signal, or a physiological reaction.
Any bar, obstruction, or means of defense.
Such a barricade as would greatly annoy, or absolutely stop, the currents of the atmosphere.
Hence, to shut in so as to prevent egress.
Till storm and driving ice blockade him there.
To fortify or close with a barricade or with barricades; to stop up, as a passage; to obstruct; as, the workmen barricaded the streets of Paris.
The further end whereof [a bridge] was barricaded with barrels.
To obstruct entrance to or egress from.
Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door.
A barrier set up by police to stop traffic on a street or road in order to catch a fugitive or inspect traffic etc.
A war measure that isolates some area of importance to the enemy
A barrier (usually thrown up hastily so as to impede the advance of an enemy);
They enemy stormed the barricade
Prevents access or progress
Render unsuitable for passage;
Block the way
Barricade the streets
Stop the busy road
Hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of;
His brother blocked him at every turn
Prevent access to by barricading;
The street where the President lives is always barricaded
Render unsuitable for passage;
Block the way
Barricade the streets
Stop the busy road
Block off with barricades
Obstruct access to
A defensive fortification against potential adversaries.
The townsfolk built a barricade to guard against bandits.
Impose a blockade on
An effort to stop supplies, war material, or communications from reaching an enemy.
The blockade played a pivotal role in the war's outcome.
A prolonged obstruction or embargo established for political or military reasons.
The international blockade was imposed due to the regime's actions.
What is a barricade primarily used for?
A barricade is primarily used as a physical obstruction to block passage on roads or pathways.
How does a blockade differ from a barricade?
A blockade is an action, often strategic, to prevent entry or exit from an area, especially in naval contexts.
Can barricades be temporary?
Yes, barricades are often temporary and set up in response to sudden events or threats.
How can blockades impact an economy?
Blockades can halt trade, deprive areas of resources, and cause economic hardships.
Are blockades always associated with war?
While blockades are common in warfare, they can also be established for political or economic reasons.
Can a barricade be used in protests?
Yes, barricades are commonly set up during protests to prevent police access or control crowds.
Are barricades always made of physical materials?
While barricades typically involve physical materials, the term can metaphorically refer to obstacles hindering progress.
Can barricades be used for defensive purposes?
Yes, barricades can be used as defensive fortifications against potential threats or adversaries.
What's the historical significance of blockades?
Historically, blockades have been used in naval warfare and strategic war tactics to exert pressure on adversaries.
What's the main purpose of a naval blockade?
A naval blockade aims to prevent supplies, trade, or resources from reaching a specific area or country.
How quickly can a barricade be set up?
Barricades, especially in emergency scenarios, can be set up hastily using available materials.
Are blockades legally permitted in international law?
Blockades are subject to international law, and their legality can depend on the context and adherence to specific conventions.
Can the term "barricade" have metaphorical uses?
Yes, "barricade" can be used metaphorically to describe obstacles or impediments in various contexts.
How long can a blockade last?
A blockade can be short-lived or prolonged, depending on its objectives and the situation.
Does a blockade always require military force?
While many blockades involve military force, some are established through diplomatic or economic means.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.