Definition of freight in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Goods transported in bulk by truck, train, ship, or aircraft.

    ‘a decline in the amount of freight carried by rail’
    [as modifier] ‘a freight train’
    • ‘British Railways closed the ailing branch line to passenger traffic in December 1961 and the last freight train ran several months later.’
    • ‘It's thought that two freight trains collided, sparking a giant fireball that devastated the surrounding area.’
    • ‘Camel trains also carried freight on the Mullan Road between Walla Walla, Washington, and Helena via the Coeur d' Alene Mountains and Hell Gate.’
    • ‘After the metro was finally built one official plan from 1973 recommended that the trains also haul freight.’
    • ‘Trains first transported only freight.’
    • ‘Trucks heavily loaded with their freight often carry excess passengers on the tops of their loads.’
    • ‘According to transport experts, one freight train carries the equivalent of 75 lorry loads, reducing road congestion and pollution levels.’
    • ‘51 and 52 on the Dawkins Subdivision were mixed trains, carrying both freight and passengers.’
    • ‘If, as we are led to believe, there is some benefit to be obtained by continuing to allow night flights, ought we to surmise from this that the offending aircraft are simply carrying freight?’
    • ‘The dispute affected interstate deliveries of both air and road freight.’
    • ‘From the 1840s, railways revolutionised the speed of communication and the transport of passengers and, more gradually, freight.’
    • ‘Armed guards had for decades been placed on freight trains carrying easily stolen freight through populated areas, but thefts in transit continued.’
    • ‘Over the past 50 years, Indian Railways have increased the amount of freight they carry, fourfold.’
    • ‘Passengers stopped travelling that line in 1970 and freight trains stopped using it in 1980.’
    • ‘This decision will result in a large amount of heavy freight being carried by lorries on the already overcrowded roads.’
    • ‘Trains all over the country, some carrying hazardous freight, were passing over cracked rails on a regular basis.’
    • ‘The incident occurred when 51 freight trains began rolling without a conductor and picked up speed.’
    • ‘Many risk their lives to stow away on freight trains.’
    • ‘Ministers also believe that the Forth Rail Bridge may be being placed under too much strain because of increasing amounts of freight being carried by rail.’
    • ‘Two freight trains collided this morning near Kankakee, Illinois.’
    cargo, load, haul, consignment, delivery, shipment
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    1. 1.1The transport of bulk goods by truck, train, ship, or aircraft.
      ‘the truck-based system can outperform air freight at distances of up to seven hundred miles’
      • ‘The limited use of the Sligo rail service for freight could see its viability called into question by the rail review.’
      • ‘At the same time, some shipments may be transferred from air to ocean freight as customers accept longer journey times to save money, Emery's Noske said.’
      • ‘By the following year, the route was sufficiently developed to attract freight, a strategic service objective of B&O operations.’
      • ‘There will also be an examination of opportunities for traffic diversion including by rail, by pipeline, and the movement of freight to less congested ports outside Dublin.’
      • ‘What's more, local food doesn't have to travel very far so packaging, fuel consumption and air pollution from road freight are all kept to a minimum.’
      • ‘This contract covers freight for inbound and outbound shipments but will primarily used for inbound shipments; it does not cover small package shipments.’
      transportation, transport, conveyance, freightage, carriage, carrying, portage, haulage, distribution, delivery
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    2. 1.2A charge for transport by freight.
      ‘a bill indicating that the freight has been paid’
      • ‘They'd far prefer to charge all customers full freight rather than start extensive discounting programs.’
      • ‘But in case not, I paid full freight for the machine I described in this post.’
      • ‘Vegetable exports dropped considerably because of factors such as high freight as well as other overhead costs.’
      • ‘When I queried the local supplier they said that their price was competitive because they had to pay taxes, freight, etc.’
      • ‘Once you take it, you can't leave it without paying the freight.’
      • ‘All prices include freight paid in the continental U.S.A.’
      • ‘That translates into 2 million baht, then add in freight and import taxes.’
      • ‘You responded by paying the freight and calling home to ask Mom and Dad for more cash.’
      • ‘In this context, that issue will turn importantly on whether the hard copy version is sufficiently preferable to an electronic version to pay the freight.’
      • ‘In the opinion of the Emigration Board some deduction should be made from the payment of freight on that account.’
      • ‘Against this, realisations in the domestic market hover between Rs 2500-3000 per tonne, inclusive of excise, sales tax and freight.’
      • ‘A local private consortium including British Aerospace, bought the airport and freight provided its biggest income.’
      • ‘Which means that even with taxes and freight halfway across the world, wine is relatively competitively priced.’
      • ‘Generally, our ornamental products are shipped unassembled to save freight.’


  • 1Transport (goods) in bulk by truck, train, ship, or aircraft.

    ‘the metals had been freighted from the city’
    • ‘This material is freighted to Ghyari by truck and hauled up the ice on mule and donkey trains.’
    • ‘The contents, including pieces from Mrs Beeton's breakfast table and items from the Prince Regent's Grand Service, were packed, crated and freighted to London.’
    • ‘I'm aware that fuel can be freighted out of Perth for about two cents a litre by road.’
    • ‘They went to Brussels because of concerns over predicted huge rises in the cost of freighting livestock.’
    • ‘Yet, at the outbreak of the American Revolution English colonists owned more slaves than any of their European counterparts, and English merchants led the world in freighting African slaves to the Americas.’
    • ‘Again, you'd expect that the most ‘important’ words in a document, in terms of identifying what it's about, would be the ones most individually freighted with meaning.’
    • ‘But until the railroad came through Las Vegas and Moapa in 1905 the ore was freighted to Modena, Utah.’
    • ‘The original Chinook was a sled dog Walden had used while freighting supplies for gold miners in the Yukon several years before.’
    • ‘There was also glass in the windows, and several loads of finished lumber had been freighted in from Dodge City.’
    • ‘Russian rail authorities confirmed that in the first five months of this year, 3.6 million tons of crude oil had been freighted to China from eastern Siberia, an increase of 37 percent from last year.’
    • ‘I have had some correspondence with the superintendent of the canal about freighting stone to Philadelphia.’
    transport, transport in bulk, convey, carry, ship, drive
    send, send off, dispatch
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  • 2Be laden or burdened with.

    ‘each word was freighted with anger’
    • ‘But, as fleeting as Picasso's involvement had been, Gauguin's example was formative, perhaps because it was so freighted with cultural significance.’
    • ‘It's not freighted with its own self-importance.’
    • ‘Yet few tourists, standing in its shadow on the Champ de Mars, scene of the first anniversary of the Revolution in 1790, may be aware that this site of memory is freighted with so much historical meaning.’
    • ‘The commission's fact-finding, moreover, should be dispassionate; it should not be freighted with agendas that create incentives - wittingly or not - to maximize or minimize some contributory factors at the expense of others.’
    • ‘Roeg packs his film with foreboding cuts; pay attention, because everything seems intentional or freighted with meaning.’
    • ‘They are freighted with heavy symbolism, and have constituted part of the artistic vocabulary of visual artists for generations.’
    • ‘For Kerouac, the word ‘beat’ was freighted with meaning.’
    • ‘But my opinions on such matters are freighted with too much baggage to be taken seriously.’
    • ‘How you knock on a door, says Mr Pullin, is freighted with meaning: there is a world of difference between tentative tapping and insistent hammering.’
    • ‘Tyler goes a long way toward describing why it is that children are freighted with all the dreams and ambitions of so many Americans.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘hire of a ship for transporting goods’): from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German vrecht, variant of vracht ship's cargo. Compare with fraught.