tar·​iff | \ ˈter-əf How to pronounce tariff (audio) , ˈta-rəf \

Definition of tariff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a schedule of duties imposed by a government on imported or in some countries exported goods
b : a duty or rate of duty imposed in such a schedule
2 : a schedule of rates or charges of a business or a public utility
3 : price, charge


tariffed; tariffing; tariffs

Definition of tariff (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to subject to a tariff

Examples of tariff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Our supply chains suffer from outdated labor-relations law, a 250 percent tariff on truck chassis, and environmental regulations that prevent capacity expansion and increase the costs of trucking. The Editors, National Review, 15 Dec. 2021 While Scotch can flow more freely to the U.S. now, the same isn't true for bourbon in the U.K. American whiskeys still face a 25 percent tariff in Britain, under a different EU-U.S. trade dispute involving steel and aluminum. Peter Weber, The Week, 17 June 2021 The newest hit is a 25 to 35 percent tariff imposed last month on $4 billion of U.S. goods, including salmon, that goes to the 27 countries that comprise the European Union. Anchorage Daily News, 22 Dec. 2020 That sparked fears that Beijing had targeted the mother of two to exert pressure on Canberra, which China is embroiled with in a tit-for-tat tariff war. Bloomberg.com, 30 Mar. 2022 The imposition of a 25% retaliatory tariff on American whiskeys caused by the steel-aluminum dispute dropped exports to the UK by 42% over a four-year period, from $150 million to $88 million. Kate Dingwall, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2022 Last October, the company received good news when the European Union agreed to end a 31% tariff on U.S.-made motorcycles as part of a trade dispute settlement over steel and aluminum imports. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Feb. 2022 More broadly tariff reductions directly operate to reduce prices for consumers and to make exporters more competitive by holding down their input costs. Lawrence H. Summers, Time, 17 Mar. 2022 The additional 35% tariff will be applied to imports including vodka, steel, works of art and fur. Reuters, CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But Trump’s main strategy for obtaining better trade deals has been to tariff other countries into submission. Tom Benning, Dallas News, 3 Apr. 2020 In public, Chinese officials call Mr Trump’s tariffs self-defeating and stress their country’s economic resilience. The Economist, 2 Jan. 2020 If Trump continues to tariff Chinese goods, the real losers will be the American consumers, manufacturers and farmers who will bear the costs. Leo Hindery Jr. For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 11 Sep. 2019 Thus, American retailers and consumers will likely not get stuck with the extra cost for those goods tariffed in December. James D. Schultz For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 15 Aug. 2019 Chief Executive Officer Martin Wong said his company, a rival to Inventec, has also shifted some notebook lines to Taiwan and was considering investing more in Vietnam should tariff-conflicts persist. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, 13 Aug. 2019 Fifty-three-foot shipping containers are essential for trucking and rail transportation, and big companies like J.B Hunt and CSX said that tariffing them would make all kinds of freight shipments more expensive. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, 22 Aug. 2019 The Buffalo plant may be the latest indicator that tariffs on steel imports imposed by President Donald Trump are giving a lending hand to the U.S. steel industry. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, 23 July 2019 Which means the primary beneficiary of the Trump administration’s proposal to tariff Chinese tennis balls will likely be … a Chinese company. Catherine Rampell, The Denver Post, 30 June 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of tariff


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tariff


Italian tariffa, from Arabic taʽrīf notification

Learn More About tariff

Dictionary Entries Near tariff

Tarifa, Cape



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Statistics for tariff

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tariff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tariff. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tariff


tar·​iff | \ ˈter-əf How to pronounce tariff (audio) \

Kids Definition of tariff

1 : a list of taxes placed by a government on goods coming into a country
2 : the tax or the rate of taxation set up in a tariff list


tar·​iff | \ ˈtar-əf How to pronounce tariff (audio) \

Legal Definition of tariff

1a : a schedule of duties imposed by a government on imported or in some countries exported goods
b : a duty or rate of duty imposed in such a schedule
2 : a document filed with the appropriate government agency that sets forth the rates, charges, and other provisions pertaining to services furnished by a business (as a carrier) or public utility

History and Etymology for tariff

Italian tariffa, from Arabic taʽrīf notification


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