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

Trump said Thursday the U.S. would begin imposing a 5 percent tariff on all imported goods from Mexico beginning June 10. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mexico’s president heading to Baja California to address Trump’s tariff threat: Bonilla," 5 June 2019 To hear Jim Dixon tell it, most of the gourmet foods he’s brought to the United States over the past two decades through his importing company, Real Good Food, have been to satisfy personal cravings. Michael Russell,, "Real Good Food’s first store to feature fine olive oil, vermouth on tap," 4 June 2019 Tariffs on Mexico would be especially tough on Arizona, which imported $9 billion worth of goods from its southern neighbor last year, nearly three times as much as from its next closest trading partner, China. Washington Post, "Poor Americans likely to be hit hardest by new US tariffs," 4 June 2019 Contrary to President Trump’s beliefs, tariffs are paid by the importing party, not by exporters, and the incidence of this tax — i.e., the question of who actually ends up paying it — ends up being a very complicated question. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Invest in the Neighborhood," 4 June 2019 Old iTunes libraries and files Further Reading Apple will soon kill off iTunes and, with it, an entire era of music history Apple Music in macOS Catalina will import users' existing music libraries from iTunes in their entirety, Apple says. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Answers to some of your iTunes questions: Old libraries, Windows, and more," 3 June 2019 The recall does not include avocados imported from Mexico that Henry Avocado also distributes. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Avocados Recalled in 6 States for Possible Listeria Contamination," 25 Mar. 2019 Disappointed by the pace of trade negotiations, the President threatened via Twitter on Sunday to hike tariffs on Chinese goods imported by the U.S. James Freeman, WSJ, "In Trump They Trust?," 6 May 2019 In March, the Trump administration announced that imported steel would be subject to a tariff of 25 percent, one of a slew of new tariffs that affect dozens of consumer-facing industries. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The absurd quest to make the “best” razor," 11 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Now, however, Mr. Trump is threatening to slap tariffs of up to 25% on all Mexican imports, starting at 5% on June 10, unless Mexico changes immigration policies -- and that's creating havoc with companies already shifting production. Rachel Layne, CBS News, "Trump's Mexico tariffs may send manufacturers packing -- again," 5 June 2019 The president last week to impose a monthly 5% tariff on Mexican imports starting Monday, rising to a total of 25% by October. Washington Post, "The Latest: Trump expects tariffs on Mexico to go in effect," 5 June 2019 Mexican diplomats are in Washington this week, trying to change Trump’s mind, but the president’s 5% tariff on Mexican imports is due to take effect on Monday unless Congress blocks him. Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "Arrests along Mexico border surged again in May, blowing past ‘breaking point’," 5 June 2019 Trump has threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican imports, and raise it monthly to as high as 25 percent by October, unless Mexico takes action to slow migration from Central America through its country and into the United States. Ana Radelat,, "Mexican tariffs could cost CT consumers up to $626 million, U.S. Chamber of Commerce says," 5 June 2019 Proposed tariffs on Mexican imports to the United States are set to go into effect Monday. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow gains more than 500 points on second best day of the year for stocks," 4 June 2019 Those cars, such as the Buick Envision, have not risen in price after Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on certain Chinese imports last June. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Every New Car That May Jump in Price from U.S. Tariffs on Mexican Imports," 3 June 2019 President Trump threatened to impose escalating tariffs on Mexican imports beginning early June. Anthony Harrup, WSJ, "Mexico Warns of Retaliation for U.S. Tariffs," 3 June 2019 In June, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was calling for a global embargo on Iranian oil imports. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "President Donald Trump Threatened Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Twitter," 23 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

8 Jun 2019

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
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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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