tonnage

noun
ton·​nage | \ˈtə-nij \

Definition of tonnage 

1a : the cubical content of a merchant ship in units of 100 cubic feet

b : the displacement of a warship

2a : total weight in tons shipped, carried, or produced

b : impressively large amount or weight

3 : a duty formerly levied on every tun of wine imported into England

4a : a duty or impost on vessels based on cargo capacity

b : a duty on goods per ton transported

5 : ships in terms of the total number of tons registered or carried or of their carrying capacity

Examples of tonnage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In capitals from Tokyo to London, war at sea was a numbers game: Construction schedules, losses and ship tonnage determined where and when the belligerents would strike. Jonathan W. Jordan, WSJ, "‘World War II at Sea’ Review: A History Written in Water," 18 May 2018 The internal debate centered on the tonnage of such coverage, conduct on social media and whether ESPN as a company should take political stances. Shalini Ramachandran, WSJ, "How a Weakened ESPN Became Consumed by Politics," 24 May 2018 The internal debate centered on the tonnage of such coverage, conduct on social media and whether ESPN as a company should take political stances. Shalini Ramachandran, WSJ, "How a Weakened ESPN Became Consumed by Politics," 24 May 2018 Truck tonnage was up 9.5% in April compared with the same month in 2017, according to the American Trucking Associations, an industry group. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Trucker U.S. Xpress Makes Second Public Debut," 14 June 2018 The port's total tonnage grew from 35.9 million in 2013 to 38.3 million in 2017. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Historical photos of the Houston Ship Channel through the 1950s," 12 June 2018 About 60 percent of the deadweight tonnage moved to front lines is gasoline and oil. Popular Mechanics, "How the D-Day Invasion Was Planned," 6 June 2017 The Port of South Louisiana is a trade juggernaut, handling the most tonnage of any U.S. port. Katia Dmitrieva, Bloomberg.com, "In Louisiana, Trump’s Trade War Spooks America’s Biggest Port," 27 June 2018 In May, cargo tonnage grew by more than 22 percent with 108,109 tons, which is the second highest volume in a single month ever recorded at CVG. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "CVG breaks local passenger record set in 2000," 26 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of tonnage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for tonnage

in sense 3, from Middle English, from Anglo-French, from tonne tun; in other senses, from ton entry 1 — more at tunnel

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Statistics for tonnage

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for tonnage

The first known use of tonnage was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for tonnage

tonnage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tonnage

: the size of a ship or the total weight that it carries in tons

: the total weight or amount of something in tons

tonnage

noun
ton·​nage | \ˈtə-nij \

Kids Definition of tonnage

1 : ships in terms of the total number of tons that are or can be carried

2 : total weight in tons shipped, carried, or mined

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More from Merriam-Webster on tonnage

See words that rhyme with tonnage

Spanish Central: Translation of tonnage

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tonnage

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