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

Photo: Malissa Mabey courtesy of Victory Ranch Utah Near Park City, this home comes with a private fishing pond and a greenhouse imported from England. Wsj Real Estate, WSJ, "Michael Cohen Purchases New York City Apartment for $6.7 Million," 12 July 2018 The bill would reduce the number of live sheep and calves imported from Australia and Europe by at least 25 percent per year, with a goal of phasing out the practice altogether within three years. Jewish Journal, "New bill will end Israeli imports of live animals for meat," 11 July 2018 In a list published late Tuesday, the U.S. Trade Representative said the 10 percent tariffs would target a variety of products imported from China, including clothing, baseball gloves, bicycles, refrigerators and seafood. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Anti-Trump FBI lovebird defies subpoena; Trump slams 'inappropriate' Russia deal at NATO summit," 11 July 2018 Beijing's increases include an additional 25 percent tariff on cars imported from the United States, raising the total charge to 40 percent. Joe Mcdonald, USA TODAY, "European exporters shift trade and supply chains to avoid higher US tariffs," 10 July 2018 Beijing’s increases include an additional 25 percent tariff on cars imported from the United States, raising the total charge to 40 percent. Joe Mcdonald, The Seattle Times, "European exporters shift trade to avoid higher US tariffs," 10 July 2018 The United States just after midnight on Friday made good on its threat to impose sweeping tariffs on Beijing, putting a 25 percent border tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods imported to the US. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Can the US-China trade war be stopped? 11 experts weigh in.," 8 July 2018 One way the tariffs will squeeze farmers, landscapers and construction firms is by raising the price of excavators and loaders made by Bobcat, which uses attachments imported from China. Author: Paul Wiseman, Josh Boakap, Anchorage Daily News, "US-China trade war elevates the risks to the global economy," 7 July 2018 And Friday, the United States put $34 billion worth of tariffs on goods imported from China, and China responded with $34 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. items. Courtney Becker,, "What are tariffs, anyway?," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In an address to Germany's lower house of parliament Wednesday, Merkel cited President Donald Trump's threat of targeting U.S. imports of cars from Europe, which risk hitting Germany the hardest. Bloomberg News, Houston Chronicle, "Merkel warns of worldwide financial crisis," 4 July 2018 The news came a day after the Trump administration threatened to sanction countries that fail to cut imports of Iranian oil by early November, a move that could further reduce global supplies. Katherine Blunt, San Antonio Express-News, "Gas prices climbing for the Fourth," 2 July 2018 He was caught up in financial scandals, such as the import of luxury cars tax-free (a long way from mules, as people said). The Economist, "Obituary: Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, the first cardinal from Central America," 23 June 2018 But China banned the import of most plastic waste on December 31, 2017. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "China’s Plastic Ban Will Flood Us With Trash," 21 June 2018 The company is asking the ITC to ban the import of infringing iPhones that use cellular modem chips from Intel. Mike Freeman,, "Testimony begins in Qualcomm's bid to ban imports of some iPhones," 18 June 2018 And the European Union has threatened to tax imports of blue jeans, bourbon, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "What Do Mexico’s Anti-Trump Tariffs Mean for U.S. Bacon?," 6 June 2018 The massive database includes forms filed by applicants for the import or export of fish and wildlife. Science | AAAS, "Biomedical group weighs in on U.S. court fight over wildlife imports," 5 June 2018 Xi's government promised Saturday to increase imports of American goods following talks in Washington on the trade balance, Beijing's technology policies and other disputes. Joe Mcdonald, Detroit Free Press, "China cutting auto import taxes as of July 1," 22 May 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

14 Sep 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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