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

Polished wooden handrails were inspired by a restroom in Kyoto that had a tree branch growing out of the wall, and the Toto Neorest toilet, imported from Japan, has a heated seat and panel of buttons that rivals a Tesla’s dashboard. Fortune, "Philadelphia’s Swank New Omakase Restaurant Is Elevated in Every Aspect," 8 Sep. 2019 The garden shop is a plant-lover’s oasis, but its greenhouse (imported from England) is the Promised Land for Instagram fiends looking to spruce up their feeds. Birmingham Magazine, al, "Birmingham magazine’s Best and Worst of Birmingham," 3 Sep. 2019 Gossage carped, later launching into an expletive-filled rant about how general managers now are nerds directly imported from fantasy baseball and the Ivy League into each team’s C-suite. Jon Tayler,, "MLB Is a Game of Extremes in 2019. What Does That Mean for the Sport's Future?," 3 Sep. 2019 The latest round took effect on Sunday, increasing the costs that Americans pay for $112 billion worth of goods imported from China, among them the shoes and sandals designed and sold by Ms. Phoenix’s company, Xero Shoes. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Make Shoes in U.S., or Pay Tariffs? A Footwear Company Seeks a Third Option," 2 Sep. 2019 If those duties take effect, virtually all goods imported from China will be covered. Christopher Rugaber,, "Consumers will soon see higher prices on many Chinese-made items as Trump’s latest round of tariffs take effect," 1 Sep. 2019 The floors were walnut, the custom mahogany doors imported from Italy and the kitchen fashioned with Scavolini cabinets and Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances. Matthias Gafni,, "New $15 million mansion sells in Hillsborough. Dream home? Nope, teardown," 30 Aug. 2019 Other additions include an indoor Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster, a Ratatouille ride imported from a prior iteration currently operating at Disneyland Paris, and new landscaping around the 305-acre property. Joey Nolfi,, "Disney reveals Moana, Marvel attraction details for Epcot, California Adventure," 23 Aug. 2019 Rich countries can work their way out of food calorie shortages by importing food. Deepak Ray, The Conversation, "Climate change is affecting crop yields and reducing global food supplies," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the first eight months of 2019, exports were off 1 percent from a year earlier and imports were down 5.6 percent., "Stories you may have missed from the world of business," 9 Sep. 2019 Geopolitical tensions ease Tuesday, stocks opened the month on a low note after the latest round of 15% U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports went into effect. Benzinga, Detroit Free Press, "Trade hope emerges and the bond rate inversion ends," 8 Sep. 2019 One research firm, Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC, projected total losses of as many as 2.2 million US jobs as a result of US tariffs on Chinese imports and China's retaliation. David A. Andelman For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The trade war hasn't hit its peak yet. The US and China will both pay a heavy price," 4 Sep. 2019 Those include foreign exchange transactions, banking payments or transfers, and the import or export of foreign currency and securities. Rachel Layne, CBS News, "Can Trump force U.S. companies out of China?," 26 Aug. 2019 The Met has for decades had a policy requiring that artifacts entering the collection be accompanied by export and import licenses indicating they were legally removed from their countries of origin. Tom Mashberg, New York Times, "The Met Reviews Items It Received From a Dealer, Now a Looting Suspect," 18 Aug. 2019 This was a major release that added many new features, as well as interoperability enhancements (read: better import and export of Microsoft Office documents) and performance increases. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "A look at LibreOffice’s new 6.3.0 “fresh” release," 13 Aug. 2019 The imports would be Canadian versions of drugs acknowledged by the FDA as safe and effective. Fortune, "How Trump’s Plan to Import Canadian Drugs Would Work," 6 Aug. 2019 For the first six months of2019, the gap between U.S. imports and exports rose to $316.3 billion, up 8 percent from the same period one year earlier, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s new China tariffs take aim at heart of the U.S. economy: Consumers," 3 Aug. 2019

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 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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