We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.
Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
November 11, 2008
: trade or transport in coastal waters or airspace or between two points within a country
: the right to engage in coastal trade or transport
Some assert that the problem would be resolved if the government would simply relax restrictions on cabotage.
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
Coastlines were once so important to the French that they came up with a verb to name the act of sailing along a coast: "caboter." That verb gave rise to the French noun “cabotage,” which named trade or transport along a coast. In the 16th century, the French legally limited their lucrative coastal trade, declaring that only French ships could trade in French ports. They called the right to conduct such trading "cabotage" too. Other nations soon embraced both the concept of trade restrictions and the French name for trading rights, and expanded the idea to inland trade as well. Later, English speakers also applied "cabotage" to the rights that allowed domestic airlines to travel within national boundaries but that prevented foreign carriers from doing so.
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears