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

1 : 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
2a : to bear or convey as meaning or portent : signify
b : imply
c archaic : express, state
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 : something that is imported
3 : importance especially : relative importance it is hard to judge the import of this decision

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Other Words from import


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

Examples of import in a Sentence

Verb a dealer who imports cars from Italy to the U.S. software that makes it simple to import digital photographs onto your hard drive Noun 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 As the second wave continues to surge, several states across the country have begun to report vaccine shortages that have forced them to float global tenders to import more jabs. Siladitya Ray, Forbes, 12 May 2021 The Anvisa review of Sputnik V was triggered because the Brazilian governors needed the agency’s sign-off to import the vaccine. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, 30 Apr. 2021 On Saturday, Sahil Barua, the co-founder and CEO of Indian courier company Delhivery, announced the company would work with its airline partners to import oxygen concentrators and other essentials. Manveena Suri, CNN, 25 Apr. 2021 That September, Forbes reported on a related vulnerability in Instagram's mechanism to import contacts. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 6 Apr. 2021 Energy Fuels first applied to amend its radioactive material license with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality in 2019 to import the drums from Neo’s Estonian plant. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Mar. 2021 Soybean purchases were expected to make up half of the monetary target and estimates showed China needed to import about 40 million tons to make good on the deal. Hallie Gu Reuters, Star Tribune, 23 Jan. 2021 Masienda founder Jorge Gaviria partnered with Doña Rosa, a longtime vendor at Oaxaca’s Central de Abastos, to import professional grade tortilladoras (tortilla makers) that are beautiful and built to last. Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2020 Refineries can import oil from Europe, Canada and South America, although trans-Atlantic cargo can take as much as two weeks to arrive. New York Times, 10 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under the blockade, Israel and Egypt regulates civilian movement and the import of basic goods into Gaza. Don Riddell, CNN, 2 June 2021 Many Japanese fear that opening up now will lead to the import of more Covid-19 variants. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 27 May 2021 In 1971, California banned the import of kangaroo parts. New York Times, 22 May 2021 Authorities at Brazil’s health agency recently voted unanimously to stop the import of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, saying there isn’t enough data proving its safety and efficacy. Eve Sneider, Wired, 30 Apr. 2021 In a fairly aggressive step, AliveCor is seeking to block the import of Apple Watches into the U.S. as part of its complaint. David Z. Morris, Fortune, 23 Apr. 2021 In Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Labbaik demanded that authorities ban the import of French products and expel the French ambassador. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2021 Port upgrades at locations including Quonset, ProvPort, and a new port at East Providence for ocean enterprises ranging from import/export to shipbuilding to the offshore wind industry., 2 Apr. 2021 First, there’s a new password import tool that helps new users aggregate their many passwords into Google’s manager. Gear Team, Wired, 18 May 2021

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 2a


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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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Learn More about import

Time Traveler for import

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for import

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Import.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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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