1 of 2

noun (1)

plural tons also ton
: any of various units of weight:
: a great quantity : lot
ate tons of cookies
has tons of money
a ton of work to do
: a unit of internal capacity for ships equal to 100 cubic feet

called also register ton

: a unit approximately equal to the volume of a long ton weight of seawater used in reckoning the displacement of ships and equal to 35 cubic feet
: a unit of volume for cargo freight usually reckoned at 40 cubic feet

called also measurement ton


2 of 2

noun (2)

: the prevailing fashion : vogue
: the quality or state of being smart or fashionable

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
The 142,500-gross-ton ships have a 3,100-passenger capacity based on double occupancy. Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel, 23 Mar. 2023 The metal, uniquely suited for batteries because of its ability to store energy, costs about $5,000 to $8,000 per ton to produce. Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2023 The benchmark grade of containerboard remains around $865 a ton, according to Fastmarkets RISI’s PPI Pulp & Paper Week, a trade publication that sets benchmarks by surveying buyers and sellers. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, 20 Mar. 2023 There wasn’t a lot of, like -- there wasn’t a ton of panic. Nubyjas Wilborn | , al, 18 Mar. 2023 There aren’t a ton of ideas in Bottoms aside from testing the limits of raunch, but Sennott and Edebiri do make a winsome pair. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 16 Mar. 2023 But even a modest boost to the allowance, Hackney says, would mean a ton. Matt Sedensky, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Mar. 2023 Lee said there’s not a ton of evidence on these benefits, but the effect on circulation is intuitive. Claire Bugos, Verywell Health, 10 Mar. 2023 With nearly six quarts of space, this air fryer provides a happy medium for anyone who is looking to cook for more than one but also doesn't have a ton of counter space to give up. Caroline Thomason, Health, 9 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ton.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English tunne unit of weight or capacity — more at tun

Noun (2)

borrowed from French, "pitch, tone, manner, style," going back to Old French, "sound of voices, voice quality," going back to Latin tonus "strain, tension, musical pitch, note" — more at tone entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun (2)

1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ton was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ton

Cite this Entry

“Ton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural tons also ton

More from Merriam-Webster on ton

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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