tonnage

noun ton·nage \ ˈtə-nij \
Updated on: 29 Apr 2018

Definition of tonnage

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

Recent Examples of tonnage from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of tonnage

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


TONNAGE Defined for English Language Learners

tonnage

Definition of tonnage for English Language Learners

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

  • : the total weight or amount of something in tons


TONNAGE Defined for Kids

tonnage

noun ton·nage \ ˈtə-nij \

Definition of tonnage for Students

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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