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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of freight in a Sentence

Noun trains that carry both passengers and freight The freight arrived by steamboat. The order was shipped by freight. Verb it took six hours to freight the cargo airplane
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fuel prices are already down; grounded planes all over the world will knock them even further, allowing those in the business of air freight, which is largely insulated from virus concerns, to enjoy a somewhat more sizable profit. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s woes mean 27,000 Cathay Pacific workers are being asked to go on unpaid leave," 5 Feb. 2020 No debate is more fractious than that surrounding distance, which has for years rumbled along like a freight train in the night. Eamon Lynch, Golfweek, "Lynch: The USGA's distance report is out, and so begins the battle for golf's future," 4 Feb. 2020 The average American generates demand for about 60 tons of freight annually, according to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. Maxine Joselow, Scientific American, "Click, Click, Emit—The Carbon Cost of Online Shopping," 11 Dec. 2019 Alaska CargoPort founder Ray Brimble said Anchorage International has performed well in recent years compared to other North American airports, in terms of tons of freight moving through. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "UPS plans major cargo expansion at Anchorage airport," 6 Dec. 2019 But the problem is also compounded in Southern California, home to two of the world's largest ports where much of the country's freight passes through and is carried away on diesel trucks and trains. Fox News, "EPA threatens to withhold funds from California over air quality," 25 Sep. 2019 The town is defined by trade between the two countries, with its industrial parks housing hundreds of freight and truck-rental companies, warehouses, gas stations and operators that lubricate daily commerce. Katia Dmitrieva,, "Even after Trump pulled his tariff threat, trade pain is real in Laredo," 11 June 2019 Officials at the Alabama State Port said passenger trains could disrupt freight service through the port, and city leaders, including Mayor Sandy Stimpson, have expressed concerns. USA TODAY, "Giga roller coaster, ‘granny’ centennial, lion cubs born, Parker the cat passes away: News from around our 50 states," 24 Jan. 2020 An agreement between the city and Dallas Area Rapid Transit promises to ban freight service on a 3-mile segment of the east-west commuter rail line. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "As DART plans more work for Cotton Belt line, Far North Dallas residents continue pushback," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The most anodyne events are freighted with the possibility of, well, anything. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Louis Vuitton welcomed Trump to the opening of its new factory. And yes, it was odd.," 18 Oct. 2019 But the frenzied inflation of this story, like so much that involves the Bidens, is freighted with both dread and grief. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "The Designated Mourner," 7 Jan. 2020 Most are then freighted to India to be cut and polished — apart from exceptional stones that are treated on site with technologies that heightens their value. Kieron Monks, CNN, "Inside the world's largest diamond trading floor," 19 Dec. 2019 Much like Springsteen’s brilliant Tunnel of Love, Tomorrow is freighted with tension, both lyrically and musically, thanks to a brooding synth-heavy production from John Congleton. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 50 Best Albums of 2019: Staff Picks," 10 Dec. 2019 It was taken apart and air-freighted to South Africa, where it was reassembled. Washington Post, "Bloodhound aims to be world’s fastest car in South Africa," 8 Nov. 2019 The years of teenage rebellion had been particularly freighted for both. oregonlive, "The tragic, redemptive journey of one human heart," 5 Oct. 2019 This new system has to be manufactured for the building, freighted in, and installed. Austen Erblat,, "Palm Beach County nature center to temporarily close for construction," 25 Sep. 2019 In the summer, catching halibut offers a way to earn cash with fish that are cleaned and air-freighted to market. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "As Bering Sea ice melts, Alaskans, scientists and Seattle’s fishing fleet witness changes ‘on a massive scale’," 15 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for freight

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for freight

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Freight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for freight


How to pronounce freight (audio)

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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