noun, often attributive
\ ˈtaks How to pronounce tax (audio) \

Definition of tax

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes
b : a sum levied on members of an organization to defray expenses
2 : a heavy demand


taxed; taxing; taxes

Definition of tax (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to levy a tax on
2 : to make onerous and rigorous demands on the job taxed her strength
3 : charge, accuse taxed him with neglect of duty also : censure
4 : to assess or determine judicially the amount of (costs in a court action)
5 obsolete : to enter (a name) in a list there went out a decree … that all the world should be taxed — Luke 2:1 (King James Version)
variants: or taxo- or less commonly taxi-

Definition of tax- (Entry 3 of 3)

: arrangement taxeme taxidermy

Other Words from tax


taxable \ ˈtak-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce tax- (audio) \ adjective
taxer noun

Synonyms for tax

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of tax in a Sentence

Noun The decision was made to raise taxes. He was accused of evading taxes. What was your income before taxes? What is the amount of tax to be paid? What was your income before tax? Verb He believes in taxing the rich to give to the poor. You are taxed according to your income. puzzles that tax your brain See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One reason property assessments are considered important is because, when multiplied by the local tax levy, the assessments help calculate a homeowner's property tax bill. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Searcy has been questioned over a 2003 legislative vote creating Georgia's program that subsidizes private school scholarships through tax credits. Jeff Amy, ajc, 11 May 2022 The weight of Build Back Better’s climate investments was in tax credits to incentivize shifting toward green energy. Anumita Kaurstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2022 Like their federal counterparts, state officials have already implemented tax credits and other subsidies intended to promote the adoption of EVs. Patrick Gleason, Forbes, 4 May 2022 And some officials and residents in neighboring Orange and Osceola counties fear they'll get stuck with a $163 million annual tax bill if Reedy Creek goes away. Jay Croft, CNN, 29 Apr. 2022 Dan tells Matilda to pay the water and power bills and ignore a tax bill and licensing fees. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 The proposal on the May ballot would raise the monthly tax bill for average Franklin Township home by a little less than $20. Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Apr. 2022 Tesla stock dropped precipitously last year when Musk sold around 10 percent of his shares, including $5 billion in the span of days, to cover a tax bill. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The special district is what has allowed Disney to tax itself to build and maintain roads and provide firefighting, emergency medical assistance and utilities for the resort complex. Michael Hiltzikbusiness Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 State lawmakers still have to write the rules and figure out how to tax it. Clancy Dubos,, 9 Nov. 2020 In October, Senator Ron Wyden, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, released a proposal to tax around 700 billionaires on their unrealized capital gains. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 28 Mar. 2022 In October, Senator Ron Wyden put forward a proposal to tax the unrealized capital gains of the country's billionaires and those with income of at least $100 million for three years in a row. Chuck Collins For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 19 Jan. 2022 President Biden put forward a proposal to tax unrealized capital gains—including the appreciated values of homes, business, and stocks in taxable accounts—when the original owner dies, a break from current policy. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 17 Sep. 2021 State representatives brought bills to legalize and tax the drug, but the Senate killed the bills that were passed by the House. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2022 His idea was that the government should tax shutters. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 6 Apr. 2022 Since injuries can tax a big league rotation over the course of the season, the Reds saw value in adding a veteran starter. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of tax


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for tax


Middle English, to estimate, assess, tax, from Anglo-French taxer, from Medieval Latin taxare, from Latin, to feel, estimate, censure, frequentative of tangere to touch — more at tangent entry 2

Combining form

Greek taxi-, from taxis

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Time Traveler for tax

Time Traveler

The first known use of tax was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near tax




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Statistics for tax

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tax.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tax


\ ˈtaks How to pronounce tax (audio) \

Kids Definition of tax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: money collected by the government from people or businesses for public use


taxed; taxing

Kids Definition of tax (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to require to pay money to a government for public use
2 : to cause a strain on Fighting to survive the storm taxed their strength.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of tax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to assess or determine judicially the amount of (costs of an action in court)
2 : to levy a tax on tax the corporation tax capital gains

Other Words from tax

taxer noun


noun, often attributive

Legal Definition of tax (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a charge usually of money imposed by legislative or other public authority upon persons or property for public purposes
2 : a sum levied on members of an organization to defray expenses

History and Etymology for tax

Transitive verb

Medieval Latin taxare to assess for taxation, tax, from Latin, to assess, value, fix

More from Merriam-Webster on tax

Nglish: Translation of tax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tax for Arabic Speakers


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