im·​port | \im-ˈpȯrt, ˈim-ˌpȯrt \
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 \

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 , 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

Another possibility is to import small homes manufactured in Asia. Jerry Brady, idahostatesman, "Amid growth, our futile search for the $100,000 house," 27 June 2018 The Maduro administration has said that U.S. financial sanctions, in particular, are hurting its ability to import food and medicine and exacerbating the country’s growing humanitarian crisis. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "European Union hits 11 more Venezuelans with sanctions," 25 June 2018 The University of Wisconsin system already retains 85 percent of its graduates, so unlike many states with a brain drain, Wisconsin needs to find a way to import workers. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How subway ads asking millennials to move helps economic development," 18 June 2018 Curry Fest Florida Quick history lesson: During the 19th Century and into the early 20th, the British imported Indians to the West Indies to work on sugar plantations as indentured servants. Trevor Fraser,, "Date Night: Take a culture hop," 12 July 2018 As of 2015, 35 percent of its imported gas came from Russia, 34 percent from Norway, and 29 percent from the Netherlands, according to CNN. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump at NATO Summit: Germany Is ‘Captive to Russia’," 11 July 2018 Chance suspects that cost-conscious customers will opt not only for smaller crabs, but also for cheaper imported meat. Scott Dance,, "After July Fourth crab feasts, an uncertain season for Maryland seafood industry," 6 July 2018 China recently stopped importing recyclables, leaving countries like the United States scrambling to find a home for their recyclables. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte's recycling 'is broken.' Could your plastic, paper be headed for a landfill?," 2 July 2018 Choose playlists, albums, an entire artist's archive, or individual songs to import onto the watch, and within minutes, the songs transfer to the device and are ready for playback. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Garmin’s new Vivoactive 3 Music is the best competitor to the Apple Watch," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lynn Reaser, Point Loma Nazarene University NO: Tariffs, such as on the $34 billion of Chinese imports, at this point represent only a small fraction of the $20 trillion U.S. economy. Phillip Molnar,, "Can the U.S. economy withstand a trade war?," 13 July 2018 Just last week Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "Trump just intensified his trade war with China," 11 July 2018 On Friday, the U.S. will begin collecting a 25 percent tariff on billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports. Tom Hudson, miamiherald, "Testing the tempers of investors," 30 June 2018 The millions of eggs that are annually washed, cured and packaged within Fields' nondescript warehouse will go on to be sold as American caviar — a product that's said to rival the quality and taste of European imports three times its price. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky is swimming with potential to take over the US caviar market," 28 June 2018 Of all the frozen tilapia the United States imports, roughly 83 percent comes from China. Anchorage Daily News, "A new round of proposed Trump tariffs would hit US consumers," 12 July 2018 The consequence of taxing imports can be losing exports, too, as other countries retaliate. Tony Abbott, WSJ, "An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump," 13 July 2018 Chinese imports potentially subject to Trump's latest tariffs range from baseball gloves to seafood to oxygen to raincoats. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Trade wars are damaging, so why is Trump fighting one with China?," 13 July 2018 For workers, more pain may be coming, as economists are concerned that prices could rise further due to President Trumps tariffs on many foreign imports. Heather Long,, "Inflation hits 6-year high, wiping out wage gains for the average American," 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

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: the meaning of something


im·​port | \im-ˈpȯrt \
imported; importing

Kids Definition of import

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


im·​port | \ˈim-ˌpȯrt \

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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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