Definition of cabotage
1 : trade or transport in coastal waters or airspace or between two points within a country
2 : the right to engage in cabotage
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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.
Origin and Etymology of cabotage
French, from caboter to sail along the coast
First Known Use: 1801
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