transitive verb \ˈtaks\

: to require (someone) to pay a tax

: to require someone to pay a tax on (something)

: to require a lot from (something or someone) : to put demands on (something or someone)

Full Definition of TAX

:  to assess or determine judicially the amount of (costs in a court action)
:  to levy a tax on
obsolete :  to enter (a name) in a list <there went out a decree…that all the world should be taxed — Luke 2:1(Authorized Version)>
:  charge, accuse <taxed him with neglect of duty>; also :  censure
:  to make onerous and rigorous demands on <the job taxed her strength>
tax·able \ˈtak-sə-bəl\ adjective
tax·er noun

Examples of TAX

  1. He believes in taxing the rich to give to the poor.
  2. You are taxed according to your income.
  3. puzzles that tax your brain

Origin of TAX

Middle English, to estimate, assess, tax, from Anglo-French taxer, from Medieval Latin taxare, from Latin, to feel, estimate, censure, frequentative of tangere to touch — more at tangent
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer

Rhymes with TAX


noun, often attributive

: an amount of money that a government requires people to pay according to their income, the value of their property, etc., and that is used to pay for the things done by the government

Full Definition of TAX

a :  a charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes
b :  a sum levied on members of an organization to defray expenses
:  a heavy demand

Examples of TAX

  1. The decision was made to raise taxes.
  2. He was accused of evading taxes.
  3. What was your income before taxes?
  4. What is the amount of tax to be paid?
  5. What was your income before tax?

First Known Use of TAX

14th century

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Government levy on persons, groups, or businesses. Taxes are a general obligation of taxpayers and are not paid in exchange for any specific benefit. They have existed since ancient times—property taxes and sales taxes were known in ancient Rome—but tariffs were favoured over internal taxes as a source of revenue. In modern economies, there has been a trend away from tariffs in favour of internal taxes, which provide the majority of revenues. Taxes have three functions: to cover government spending, to promote stable economic growth, and to lessen inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth. They have also been used for nonfiscal reasons, such as to encourage or discourage certain activities (e.g., cigarette consumption). Taxes may be classified as direct or indirect. Direct taxes are those that the taxpayer cannot shift onto someone else; they are mainly taxes on persons and are based on an individual's ability to pay as measured by income or net wealth. Direct taxes include income taxes, taxes on net worth, death duties (i.e., inheritance and estate taxes), and gift taxes. Indirect taxes are those that can be shifted in whole or in part to someone other than the person legally responsible for payment. These include excise taxes, sales taxes, and value-added taxes. Taxes may also be classified according to the effect they have on the distribution of wealth. A proportional tax is one that imposes the same relative burden on all taxpayers, unlike progressive taxes and regressive taxes.


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