tonnage

noun

ton·​nage ˈtə-nij How to pronounce tonnage (audio)
1
a
: the cubical content of a merchant ship in units of 100 cubic feet
b
: the displacement of a warship
2
a
: 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
4
a
: 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 That’s when the DTSC shared with the agencies a letter dated March 28, 1980, detailing Stauffer’s disposal locations and tonnage: An unspecified area south of its Richmond plant received 18,700 tons. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2024 The old-time Sicilians would take grapes by the pound or tonnage and field blend them, in other words, sangiovese, merlot, moscato, crush and de-stem all the grapes together and ferment together. ... Kristine M. Kierzek, Journal Sentinel, 3 May 2024 The historic tonnage estimate cannot be relied upon. Kansas City Star, 2 May 2024 The Port of Baltimore is one of the nation’s top 10 seaports by both value and tonnage, one of the fastest-growing over the last decade, and one that leads the nation in a host of export and import categories. Ken Roberts, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 The International Group of P&I Clubs collectively insures approximately 90% of the world's ocean-going tonnage and member P&I clubs mutually reinsure each other by sharing claims above $10 million. Sinead Cruise, USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2024 Ship traffic through the Port of Baltimore — the 17th largest US port by total tonnage, or total weight of cargo entering and leaving the port, and fourth largest in the East Coast, according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Transportation — was suspended until further notice. Lou Robinson, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 Baltimore is now America’s 17th-biggest port by tonnage—a respectable rank, if a far cry from the early days of the United States, when shipping made the city the third-most-populous in the country—and may well drop further down the list if the harbor remains inaccessible. Rachel Gutman-Wei, The Atlantic, 26 Mar. 2024 Sam’s Club In-store: Membership is not required to enter the warehouse and admire the gross tonnage. Martha Quillin, Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Dictionary Entries Near tonnage

Cite this Entry

“Tonnage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tonnage. Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

tonnage

noun
ton·​nage ˈtən-ij How to pronounce tonnage (audio)
1
: a tax on ships based on tons carried
2
: ships in terms of the total number of tons that are or can be carried
3
: total weight in tons shipped, carried, or mined

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