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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 The extra tax revenue is in part due to higher room and car-rental rates as prices have jumped, the study said. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Aug. 2022 With the gradual disappearance of coal came a dramatic reduction in tax revenue, leaving much of this infrastructure crumbling long before the flood., 4 Aug. 2022 Jeffrey Miron, an economics professor at Harvard University, estimated that annual tax revenue from weed sales for Kenya would be closer to $60 million. Rael Ombuor, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 Kreis also suggested that the state’s treasury could lose out on much more tax revenue than expected. Christine Mui, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 Meanwhile, federal tax revenue would be lowered by about $20 billion during that same period. Brian Peccarelli, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 The developer is projecting $81 million in tax revenue for the city from the project during its first 10 years, Corn said. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 July 2022 Tax companies whose employees work from home, and use the tax revenue to buy office space for conversion to housing. Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 July 2022 Carlsbad: Oil and gas operations in Eddy and Lea counties in southeast New Mexico’s Permian Basin oil fields accounted for almost a quarter of the state’s tax revenue, according to the New Mexico Economic Development Department. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 19 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Higher, fast-moving water can tax an individual's boating, paddling and swimming skills. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Apr. 2022 Once the cobalt is mined, a new agency will buy it from the miners and standardize pricing for diggers, ensuring the government can tax the sales. New York Times, 10 Nov. 2021 That amendment says that Congress can tax incomes without that being considered a direct tax that would need to be apportioned to states according to their share of the population. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2021 In June, the country’s GST council chaired by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman pruned its exemption list to tax a host of goods and services. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 19 July 2022 Wagner added that a state law that prohibits counting mail-in ballots before voting concludes will tax workers further and delay election results. Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 17 July 2022 The statewide scorcher is enough to induce record high demand and tax the state’s beleaguered power grid, prompting the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to issue a public appeal for conservation during the hottest times of day. Matthew Cappucci, Anchorage Daily News, 11 July 2022 Here, the court has violated that founding principle by requiring Maine to tax citizens to fund religious schools. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 21 June 2022 Berkeley voters could decide in November whether to tax thousands of vacant homes in a bid to address the region’s housing crisis by pressuring property owners into renting their properties. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 June 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

Learn More About tax

Time Traveler for tax

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near tax




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tax

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tax.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
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!