noun, often attributive
\ ˈfrāt How to pronounce freight (audio) \

Definition of freight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the compensation paid for the transportation of goods
b : cost help pay the freight
2a : goods to be shipped : cargo The freight arrived by steamboat.
b : load, burden The man staggered under a freight of small logs in a basket.
c : meaning sense 3, significance words that carry psychological freight, such as "family," "work," and "sex"
3a : the ordinary transportation of goods by a common carrier and distinguished from express
b : a train designed or used for such transportation an eastbound freight


freighted; freighting; freights

Definition of freight (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to load with goods for transportation
b : burden, charge freighted with memories
2 : to transport or ship by freight

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Synonyms & Antonyms for freight

Synonyms: Noun

burden, cargo, draft, haul, lading, load, loading, payload, weight

Synonyms: Verb

burden, encumber, lade, laden, load, lumber, saddle, weight

Antonyms: Verb

disburden, discharge, disencumber, unburden, unlade, unload

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Examples of freight in a Sentence


trains that carry both passengers and freight The freight arrived by steamboat. The order was shipped by freight.


it took six hours to freight the cargo airplane
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Amazon has been beefing up its own freight-hauling ability for several years. Bloomberg,, "FedEx decides not to renew Amazon’s U.S. air-delivery contract," 7 June 2019 Dads carry some pretty heavy freight in the family responsibility arena. Pat Lenhoff,, "Column: Why we should celebrate the many unique roles of dads on Father's Day," 5 June 2019 The Sydney-London service won't be able to carry extra freight, Joyce said. Angus Whitley,, "World’s longest flight — Sydney to London — to be even less comfortable than expected," 5 June 2019 On an economic front, actual uptake of the railway by the industrial zones it was intended to serve remains low—even after a year, the vast majority of the railway’s freight cargo is made up of imports, not exports. Yunnan Chen, Quartz Africa, "Ethiopia and Kenya are struggling to manage debt for their Chinese-built railways," 4 June 2019 Most of the company’s business involves towing barges between Seattle and Southeast Alaska, where many communities aren’t accessible by road and there are no terminals big enough for a container ship to dock, so all freight arrives by tug and barge. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "How do you launch a 330-ton tugboat? Very carefully.," 29 May 2019 According to Business Insider, MacKenzie started as an Amazon accountant and negotiated its first freight contracts. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "MacKenzie Bezos Is More Than Just Jeff Bezos' Wife—Here's What to Know About Her," 11 Jan. 2019 Moving people and freight through Seattle remained a pressing issue. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 Companies like Peloton Technology are developing freight platooning systems that let large trucks follow one another at short distances to improve fuel economy. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The future of urban mobility will be shaped by these six issues," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The questions are especially freighted for Unitarian Universalists, members of a denomination dedicated to racial justice and yet at times beset by its own problems of diversity. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "’Black Lives Matter’ banners cost a California church its polling place. Now, it’s suing.," 11 June 2019 The continuing conversation is freighted with both history and consequences. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "After Cynthia Nixon’s Loss, Working Families Party Ponders Its Next Step," 20 Sep. 2018 The term is always charged somehow, freighted with meaning and potential conflict, vaguely subversive. David Roberts, Vox, "American white people really hate being called “white people”," 26 July 2018 The Mississippi case is freighted with racial overtones because Tellis is black, while Chambers was white. Jeff Amy, Fox News, "Retrial set for man accused in woman's burning death," 22 Sep. 2018 All that freighted with significance the moment of their first greeting. Dan Balz,, "Summit's outcome rests on substance, not symbolism," 11 June 2018 Maybe that’s the way to practice for the launch of a successful vacation—not with a plan for two weeks freighted with expectation but with a single afternoon at full and indulgent ease. Patricia Hampl, WSJ, "All of Summer In a Single Afternoon," 21 June 2018 As those who’ve been paying attention have come to expect, Foster’s performance is freighted with a tense, explosive dignity; Will is a good man undone by demons and his tragedy is his country’s. Ty Burr,, "In ‘Leave No Trace,’ a father and daughter who break your heart," 27 June 2018 But with a single vote at a meeting punctuated by jeering and shouting, the county’s school board this month made a four-word change in language that is freighted with social and cultural significance. Debbie Truong, Washington Post, "In Fairfax, a lesson on why words matter, especially in sexual health class," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freight.' 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 freight


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for freight

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German vracht, vrecht

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Learn More about freight

Statistics for freight

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for freight

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

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More Definitions for freight



English Language Learners Definition of freight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: goods that are carried by ships, trains, trucks, or airplanes
: the system by which goods are carried from one place to another
: the amount of money paid for carrying goods



English Language Learners Definition of freight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to send (goods) from one place to another
: to cause (something) to have or carry many things : to load or burden (something)


\ ˈfrāt How to pronounce freight (audio) \

Kids Definition of freight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : goods or cargo carried by a ship, train, truck, or airplane
2 : the carrying (as by truck) of goods from one place to another The order was shipped by freight.
3 : the amount paid (as to a shipping company) for carrying goods
4 : a train that carries freight


freighted; freighting

Kids Definition of freight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to send by train, truck, airplane, or ship

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Comments on freight

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


showing courage and determination

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