car·​go | \ ˈkär-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce cargo (audio) \
plural cargoes or cargos

Definition of cargo

: the goods or merchandise conveyed in a ship, airplane, or vehicle : freight Dock workers were unloading the ship's cargo.

Examples of cargo in a Sentence

The ship was carrying a cargo of crude oil. we put all of our cargo on the pack animals and began our journey through the canyon
Recent Examples on the Web The 891-ton ship contained more cargo than usual, as it had also been tasked with transporting treasure retrieved from another ship that had sunk two years earlier. CNN, 3 Aug. 2022 Pannier bags are the best way to carry common cargo on your bike. Gear Team, Wired, 3 Aug. 2022 The private firms that run cargo-handling facilities at the port say the protests began Monday and sharply cut back operations. Paul Berger, WSJ, 19 July 2022 At the time of the explosion, CSX supervisors tasked with cargo-handling operations involving coal transfer were not provided with accident-prevention training or courses, according to OSHA. Christine Condon And Lilly Price, Baltimore Sun, 11 July 2022 In a video that accompanied the news release, Col. Dean Martin, 189th Airlift Wing commander, said the C-130J can fly higher, faster, carry more cargo and is more fuel efficient than its older C-130H counterpart. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, 1 July 2022 More broadly, the Lightning is being heralded as a potential game-changer for electric vehicles, incorporating the nascent technology into a utilitarian truck that can haul cargo and rival the speed of a Porsche. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 25 June 2022 This four-legged robo-yak can supposedly carry as much cargo as two real yaks, according to a tabloid linked to the Chinese Communist Party. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 24 June 2022 The machinists’ union has reached a deal with Alaska Airlines management for a two-year contract extension that provides substantial raises for 5,300 gate agents, stores personnel and office staff, as well as for ramp workers who load cargo. Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, 22 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cargo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cargo

1657, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cargo

Spanish, load, charge, from cargar to load, from Late Latin carricare — more at charge entry 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best travel products of the year.

Learn More About cargo

Dictionary Entries Near cargo



cargo cult

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cargo

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cargo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for cargo


car·​go | \ ˈkär-gō How to pronounce cargo (audio) \
plural cargoes or cargos

Kids Definition of cargo

: the goods carried by a ship, airplane, or vehicle

More from Merriam-Webster on cargo

Nglish: Translation of cargo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cargo for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cargo


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!