dun·​nage | \ ˈdə-nij How to pronounce dunnage (audio) \

Definition of dunnage

1 : loose materials used to support and protect cargo in a ship's hold also : padding in a shipping container
2 : baggage

Is There a dunnage and Cheese Connection?

Etymologists don't know the exact origin of dunnage. Some have pointed out the similarity of the word to dünne twige, a Low German term meaning "brushwood," but no one has ever proven the two are related. Others have speculated that it derives from Dunlop, the name of a famous cheese-making town in Scotland; however, neither the town nor the cheese has any connection to dunnage. Truth be told, though dunnage has been with us since the 15th century, its etymological history remains a mystery.

Examples of dunnage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Not surprising, it was matured in Warehouse #2, an old dunnage warehouse just 150 feet from the shore of the Cromarty Firth on the North Sea. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 The mash tun, the still room and the dunnage warehouse all date back to the original 1830 construction. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 Orbis manufactures plastic reusable totes, bulk containers, pallets and dunnage. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of dunnage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dunnage

origin unknown

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The first known use of dunnage was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Dunnage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dunnage. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dunnage

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dunnage


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