im·​port | \ im-ˈpȯrt How to pronounce import (audio) , ˈim-ˌpȯrt How to pronounce import (audio) \
imported; importing; imports

Definition of import

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to bear or convey as meaning or portent : signify
b archaic : express, state
c : imply
2 : to bring from a foreign or external source: such as
a : to bring (something, such as merchandise) into a place or country from another country
b : to transfer (files or data) from one format to another usually within a new file
3 archaic : to be of importance to : concern

intransitive verb

: to be of consequence : matter


im·​port | \ ˈim-ˌpȯrt How to pronounce import (audio) \

Definition of import (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : importance especially : relative importance it is hard to judge the import of this decision
3 : something that is imported

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Other Words from import


importable \ im-​ˈpȯr-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce importable (audio) , ˈim-​ˌpȯr-​ \ adjective
importer noun

Examples of import in a Sentence


a dealer who imports cars from Italy to the U.S. software that makes it simple to import digital photographs onto your hard drive


This car is an import from Italy. They sell luxury imports from around the world. laws affecting the import of foreign goods This is an issue of little import to voters. a matter of great import
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The tax charges 25 percent on pickups and commercial vehicles imported into the U.S. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Trump's trade war could threaten US pickup production and jobs," 13 July 2018 Factories reported fewer orders, and Mr. Trump issued a threat — since carried out — to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Europe. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "As Uncertainty Clouds Economy, Europe Pulls Back on Easy Money," 14 June 2018 But now suppliers based in those countries face a 25 percent tax on steel and a 10 percent tax on aluminum imported into the United States. Dylan Jackson, miamiherald, "South Florida home prices and rents are already expensive. And they could soon get worse.," 13 June 2018 Earlier this month, Trump announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imported from trade partners Canada, Mexico, and the EU, citing national security concerns. Ben Popken /, NBC News, "What's included in the EU list of tit-for-tat tariffs? Bikes, bourbon, and fishing boats," 7 June 2018 At the same time, trade ministers elsewhere have been deeply troubled by the Trump administration’s moves to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from around the world. San Antonio Express-News, "China cuts tariffs before U.S. commerce secretary’s visit to Beijing," 31 May 2018 The idea that imported Audis or VWs threaten U.S. national security is preposterous on its face. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Crash on the Autobahn," 22 Feb. 2019 Microsoft Build 18317 also includes the ability to drag and drop fonts into the Settings > Fonts page, rather than manually importing them. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft separates Cortana from search in new Windows 10 preview build," 16 Jan. 2019 It is called L’Avenue at Saks, and the store imported it from Paris at great expense. Joshua Levine, WSJ, "Saks Doubles Down on Department Stores With New Restaurant in New York City," 15 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jaguar Land Rover’s credit rating also could take a hit from higher U.S. import tariffs. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Higher U.S. Import Tariffs Could Dent Earnings, Credit Ratings at European Car Makers, S&P Says," 26 Mar. 2019 Putting its factory there would allow Tesla to wholly own its factory while avoiding some import tariffs, which could escalate as a result of the Trump Administration's ongoing tariff disputes with China. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tesla buys 210-acre site for factory in Shanghai," 17 Oct. 2018 On June 15th the White House confirmed that a 25% tariff on up to $50bn of Chinese imports would soon go into effect. The Economist, "Could a trade war derail global growth?," 21 June 2018 Trump followed Lighthizer’s lead, imposing duties on $34 billion worth of imports from China, with another $16 billion coming next and the possibility of $200 billion more after that. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Mnuchin is in denial about the pain Trump's tariffs are inducing," 13 July 2018 In official statements, China has remained defiant since Trump’s decision earlier this month to levy tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports and push ahead with additional restrictions on foreign investment., "China Begins to Question Whether It’s Ready for a Trade War," 26 June 2018 President Donald Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Joe Mcdonald, The Seattle Times, "US-China trade talks start amid cooling economic growth," 7 Jan. 2019 By expanding the list to $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, Trump risks spreading the pain to ordinary Americans. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump imposes tariffs on additional $200B of Chinese goods," 18 Sep. 2018 Last week, the administration took its first direct tariff hit against China, slapping duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports with another $16 billion to soon follow, sparking tit-for-tat retaliation from China on US goods. Saleha Mohsin,, "US, China may talk amid escalating trade threats," 13 July 2018

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


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


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for import


Middle English, from Medieval Latin importare to bring in, cause, signify, from Latin, to bring in, cause, from in- + portare to carry — more at fare

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Statistics for import

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for import

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

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More Definitions for import



English Language Learners Definition of import

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bring a product into a country to be sold
computers : to bring (something, such as data) into a file, system, etc., from another source



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

: something that is imported : a product brought into a country to be sold there
: the act of importing something
formal : the meaning of something


im·​port | \ im-ˈpȯrt How to pronounce import (audio) \
imported; importing

Kids Definition of import

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bring (as goods) into a country usually for selling


im·​port | \ ˈim-ˌpȯrt How to pronounce import (audio) \

Kids Definition of import (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : importance This is a problem of great import.
2 : something brought into a country My car is an import from Italy.

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Comments on import

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


an enemy or opponent

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