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

While FedEx is terrifyingly efficient at moving all this freight around, shipping companies do have bad years. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside FedEx’s Christmas Miracle," 19 Dec. 2018 But the group measured in the new report — the middle-class consumers who pay full freight for increasingly expensive insurance — will face premium increases. Margot Sanger-katz,, "About 1m Americans were priced out of health insurance market last year, report says," 3 July 2018 As many as seven out of 10 flights are underpaid, Ward said, because Medicare and Medicaid haven’t updated their rates in years and private insurers often refuse to pay full freight. Rebekah L. Sanders, azcentral, "Arizona family shocked by $47,000 air ambulance bill for their child," 25 June 2018 Besides, the real allure of Google Podcasts comes from the broader freight of Google itself. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Google's New Podcast App Could Turbocharge the Industry," 19 June 2018 But because the new 1500 is veering into 2500 territory for payload and towing, the freight has to be paid somewhere. Scott Sturgis,, "2019 Ram 1500 - bigger, faster, hungrier," 28 Apr. 2018 She was conscripted as a minesweeper for the British Royal Navy at the start of World War II and worked hauling freight in the North and Baltic seas after the war. Jennifer Larino,, "Meet the 6 tall ships docking in New Orleans this weekend," 20 Apr. 2018 Most recently, Musk suggested he might get involved, focusing not on moving freight but commuters. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "A Saudi hyperloop: kingdom is keen on Richard Branson's levitating speed pods as oil alternative," 2 Apr. 2018 Ten percent of each shipment of freight is sent to the appraisers’ stores for examination, and, as the boxes or packages are chosen at random, there apparently is not much chance for the smuggler to escape detection. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 And if too many fashion titles come freighted with the ego of whomever put them out, that’s not the case here. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Designer Giles Deacon’s Brilliant New Book Enlists The Help of Friends Katie Grand and Solve Sundsbo," 22 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

11 Mar 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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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