pay·​load | \ ˈpā-ˌlōd How to pronounce payload (audio) \

Definition of payload

1 : the load carried by a vehicle exclusive of what is necessary for its operation especially : the load carried by an aircraft or spacecraft consisting of things (such as passengers or instruments) necessary to the purpose of the flight
2 : the weight of a payload

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of payload in a Sentence

The truck is carrying a payload of 2,580 pounds. the space shuttle can carry a maximum payload of approximately 50,000 pounds
Recent Examples on the Web Rocket Lab charges around $5 million per flight, a cost that works out to roughly $10,000 per pound of payload. NBC News, 8 Apr. 2022 The only direct competitor is the $25,385 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE, which has a 3500-pound tow rating and can carry 1753 pounds of payload. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, 28 Mar. 2022 Because the weight of the payload ultimately affects how far a missile can fly, observers cannot know with certainty the actual range of the missile without this information. Brad Lendon, CNN, 25 Mar. 2022 The rocket and payload are set to roll out to Space Launch Complex-41 today and a launch readiness review is coming up on May 11. Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel, 4 May 2022 Shortly after its payload deploys, and if all goes according to plan, Rocket Lab will attempt to demonstrate a brand-new way to capture rocket stages for reuse. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 27 Apr. 2022 On top of unveiling the Peregrine lunar lander, Astrobotic also shared an image of the lander’s payload system. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 23 Apr. 2022 Fuel cell systems are lighter than batteries, an important consideration for trucking companies seeking to maximize payload. New York Times, 11 Apr. 2022 The Falcon 9 rocket could launch as many as 60 times this year, and because SpaceX can reuse the first stage and payload fairing, the internal cost per launch is probably substantially less than $30 million. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'payload.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Keep scrolling for more

First Known Use of payload

1914, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About payload

Time Traveler for payload

Time Traveler

The first known use of payload was in 1914

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near payload

pay into



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for payload

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Payload.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on payload Encyclopedia article about payload


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!