car·​go | \ˈkär-(ˌ)gō \
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.

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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 Firefly’s second mate Zoë Washburne is left with a choice: abandon her captain and deliver their volatile cargo, or rescue Mal. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Big Damn Hero is a familiar trip back to Joss Whedon’s Firefly universe," 20 Nov. 2018 This shipwreck no doubt holds a bounty of other evidence about ancient ship design and construction, and its cargo probably contains more detailed information about ancient trade than any other single ancient shipwreck site yet discovered. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "This ancient Greek ship is the oldest intact shipwreck ever discovered," 24 Oct. 2018 The group then put their unusual cargo into a maroon truck. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Shark swiped from San Antonio Aquarium in baby stroller; suspect reportedly confesses," 30 July 2018 According to the specifications, the EcoSport holds a marginal lead over the Kona for cargo capacity, with 20.9 cubic feet and 19.2 cubic feet, respectively. Mark Takahashi, Edmunds, USA TODAY, "Edmunds compares subcompact crossover SUVs Hyundai Kona and Ford EcoSport," 29 June 2018 In this utility-crazy world, there are more ways to satisfy your desire for a vehicle with abundant cargo capacity and tall-in-the-saddle seating than ever before. Malcolm Gunn,, "2018 Lexus NX," 28 June 2018 The Prius Prime’s front-seat area is roomy and its liftback cargo capacity is large at nearly 20 cubic feet; however, the back-seat legroom is a squeeze at 33.4 inches, although its shoulder and hip room nearly equal front-seat space. Mark Maynard,, "2018 Toyota Prius Prime: Nothing fancy, just 640 miles on a tank," 8 June 2018 The migrants—including people from South Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan and Ethiopia—had been picked up by the cargo ship while adrift in the Mediterranean Sea and brought to the coastal Libyan city of Misrata, east of Tripoli, on Nov. 10. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Libyan Authorities Forcibly Remove Migrants from Cargo Ship, U.N. Says," 20 Nov. 2018 The crew has consumables for months and could be re-supplied by two US cargo ships as well as a Japanese vehicle. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "On Thursday a rocket failed. Three humans remain on the ISS. What’s next?," 11 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near cargo





cargo cult

cargo liner

cargo mill

Statistics for cargo

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cargo

The first known use of cargo was in 1657

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English Language Learners Definition of cargo

: something that is carried from one place to another by boat, airplane, etc.


car·​go | \ˈkär-gō \
plural cargoes or cargos

Kids Definition of cargo

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cargo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cargo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cargo

Spanish Central: Translation of cargo

Nglish: Translation of cargo for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on cargo

What made you want to look up cargo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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