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 Modern elevators and a freight elevator will be installed, according to a statement from the architect, Perkins&Will. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "The former Key Bank Plaza in downtown Anchorage is getting a ‘glacier-like’ facade in a $41 million renovation," 14 Feb. 2021 Sources said that the employee was somehow struck by the freight elevator and knocked down the shaft. Fox News, "Woman falls down elevator shaft to her death at Manhattan supermarket," 16 Dec. 2020 Figuring out how to drive a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda down the slim hallways of the museum and onto a freight elevator was another. Ryan Patrick Hooper, Detroit Free Press, "Glossy vs. gritty: 2 new DIA exhibits celebrate auto design, blue-collar life in Michigan," 14 Nov. 2020 Part of the redo included turning the freight elevator into a glass conference room that can be shuttled between the floors. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Century-old Fort Worth building joins list of landmarks for sale," 21 Sep. 2020 The freight railroad posted revenue of $2.83 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Josh Funk, Star Tribune, "CSX profit slips in 4Q but railroad hauls 4% more freight," 21 Jan. 2021 The remaking of the High Line turned a chunk of superannuated freight infrastructure into a verdant catwalk. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "Is a High Line Extension Really What We Need on the Far West Side?," 20 Jan. 2021 Some of those executives forced him to ride on freight elevators. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The New Yorker, "Waking Up from the American Dream," 18 Jan. 2021 But the effects on freight transport as a whole could be significant. Olaf Merk, WSJ, "Commentary: Taxation May Be Global Shipping’s Upcoming Game Changer," 17 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even Black creators like Thomas, Bennett said, can’t help but freight their stories about Black kids with the horrors of racial injustice. Howard Bryant, The Atlantic, "He Won a Super Bowl. Now for the Real Challenge.," 17 Dec. 2020 Narratives of reverse migration from the United States are often freighted with ambivalence. Theodore Ross, Harper's Magazine, "[Letter from Ho Chi Minh City]," 25 May 2020 Consumers have had no trouble continuing to purchase bananas freighted from Central America, confections from Europe, and fresh produce from California’s Central Valley. Liz Specht, Wired, "Let's Rebuild the Broken Meat Industry—Without Animals," 20 May 2020 While businesses nationwide are seeking similar relief, Mr. Trump’s status as president means his company’s actions are freighted with potential conflicts of interest for lenders and landlords. David Enrich, New York Times, "Trump’s Company Seeks to Ease Financial Crunch as Coronavirus Takes Toll," 2 Apr. 2020 Many furs are freighted with family history, especially garments earned by individuals who had to strive for them. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "The Awkward Heirloom: No One Wants Grandma’s Fur Coat," 27 Jan. 2020 To its credit, the MFA chose to freight its sesquicentennial with real meaning — a point of departure that’s strategic and sincere in equal measure., "As museums evolve, the MFA marks 150th anniversary by embracing change - The Boston Globe," 11 Oct. 2019 When Hall purchased the site, it was already freighted with a — mostly — underground garage. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "At two new Dallas hotels, art is the draw," 21 Feb. 2020 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

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Freight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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