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.

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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

If adopted, the measure could ripple across international supply chains, with products taking more time to be delivered and cargo owners paying more for transport costs because of the longer sailings. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Shipowners Seek to Slow Services to Meet Emissions Limits," 10 May 2019 Blue Origin also announced that Blue Moon would be ready to ferry human cargo as early as 2024. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Blue Origin Reveals the Blue Moon Lunar Lander," 9 May 2019 Federal air-crash investigators suspect that pilot errors, rather than aircraft malfunctions, led to an Atlas Air cargo plane’s nosedive near Houston in February that killed all three people on board, according to people familiar with the details. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Pilot Error Suspected in Fatal Atlas Air Cargo Crash," 15 Mar. 2019 Chinese officials also erupted this week when the State Department announced the potential sale of American parts to Taiwan for use in the its F-16 fighter jets and cargo planes. Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, "North Korea remains 'significant' nuclear threat, Trump pick for top US general in South Korea says," 25 Sep. 2018 But two of their cubs, Tai Shan and Bao Bao, have already left the Zoo via FedEx cargo planes, and will soon be followed by their younger brother Bei Bei in 2019. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Primer on the Zoo’s Possibly Pregnant Giant Panda," 28 June 2018 David Albandoz was the co-pilot of the WC-130 cargo plane that went down on a Georgia highway near Savannah yesterday. Leada Gore,, "Puerto Rico guardsman killed in Georgia crash lived in Alabama," 3 May 2018 An Air National Guard cargo plane crashed near an airport in Georgia. Dennis Wagner, azcentral, "National Guard jet was on its final flight when it crashed on way to Arizona," 2 May 2018 Amazon introduced its first cargo plane, Amazon One, in August 2016 and has grown its fleet to 32 aircraft. Andrea Rumbaugh, Houston Chronicle, "Plane spotters: Amazon's Prime Air plane flies to Houston," 9 Mar. 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

13 May 2019

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Time Traveler for cargo

The first known use of cargo was in 1657

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More Definitions for cargo



English Language Learners Definition of cargo

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


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

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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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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