Definition of tariff in English:



  • 1A tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.

    ‘the reduction of trade barriers and import tariffs’
    • ‘Farm exporters are seeking substantial cuts in tariffs on agricultural imports as well as related subsidies, but importers are in favor of gradual reform.’
    • ‘A Libertarianz government will abolish all duties, tariffs, taxes and levies - except income tax.’
    • ‘Cut import tariffs and increase export-refund rates of some products to foster trade.’
    • ‘The Geneva-based organisation helps promote free trade by persuading countries to abolish import tariffs and other barriers to open markets.’
    • ‘Social Security taxes, excise levies, tariffs, and other duties are regressive - their effective rates decline as income goes up.’
    • ‘Many of these countries could protect themselves through imposing import tariffs.’
    • ‘The decision by the Confederacy in February 1861 to levy a tariff on the import of goods provoked a discussion about the expanding trade between the Upper and Lower South.’
    • ‘Put another way, costs that used to be absorbed by the private sector in the form of export and import duties and tariffs have been transferred onto taxpayers in the form of security costs.’
    • ‘Both export taxes and import tariffs are used as policy tools to regulate cotton markets.’
    • ‘The introduction of Value Added Tax in July 1999 enabled the government to remove tariffs and import duties.’
    • ‘Foreign affiliate sales that stem from FDI are not subject to import tariffs or other trade barriers, in contrast to U.S. exports of similar products.’
    • ‘While tariffs and import quotas have fallen for farm goods, U.S. agribusiness outfits still must overcome complex import-licensing procedures.’
    • ‘So while the Constitution empowered the federal government to levy taxes, it limited this power mostly to indirect taxes like tariffs, duties, and excise taxes.’
    • ‘Even though 99 per cent of the high-end watches in the China market are imported, the tax authorities can only collect the watch tariff and value-added tax, he said.’
    • ‘The US last month said it will levy tariffs on most steel imports to give its domestic industry time to rebuild.’
    • ‘The country unilaterally reduced its overall import tariffs over the years, recently dropping them to 6% across the board.’
    • ‘Under the safeguard, Japan can levy stiff tariffs on the imports if their volume exceeds the average of the past three years.’
    • ‘Excises, tariffs, export duties, and taxes on particular goods have become relatively insignificant sources of state revenues in these advanced nations.’
    • ‘Lumber and steel prices spent most of the second quarter adjusting to the impact of U.S.-imposed duties and tariffs on imports that went into effect near the end of the first quarter.’
    • ‘But as long as America coddles its grain farmers, other nations won't drop import tariffs on U.S. meat.’
    tax, duty, toll, excise, levy, assessment, imposition, impost, charge, rate, fee, exaction
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    1. 1.1A list of import or export tariffs.
      • ‘Port tariffs are essentially price lists that encompass all the services and facilities provided by a port.’
      • ‘"The tariff explicitly lists agro-machinery that enjoys duty free status, and our officers are guided by this tabulation," he said.’
    2. 1.2British A list of the fixed charges made by a business, especially for use of gas, electricity, or a mobile phone.
      • ‘To qualify for free broadband from Orange you must sign an 18-month contract for one of its mobile tariffs costing at least £30 a month.’
      • ‘Because Enron's aggressive pricing had helped bring down tariffs, businesses and domestic consumers will have to pay more for their energy this winter.’
      • ‘I was told categorically that premium rate calls can be charged at whatever tariff the market will stand!’
      • ‘He said even with the new tariffs the company will still not be able to meet its operational costs, but they will still go a long way.’
      • ‘Technology Telecom says its customers can save 20 per cent compared to BT's business tariffs and a 5 per cent discount on BT line charges.’
      • ‘Vodafone's decision to exclude 0845 and 0800 tariffs from free minutes allowances has upset a number of users.’
      • ‘Some hotels have lowered their tariffs by between 30 and 50 per cent.’
      • ‘If there were any doubts about the standard of the hotel, its cheap tariff leaves no room for second thoughts.’
      • ‘Many United States and multilateral institutions promote business by lowering tariffs and offering loans and consultations.’
      • ‘Orange is marketing the SPV M1000 at business users, with calls and GPRS data connections billed according to the network's business tariffs.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, Virgin's prominent brand and cheap and simple tariffs have done the business so far.’
      • ‘The prices listed above are those that apply to the more expensive tariffs - cheaper tariffs carry higher handset costs.’
      • ‘As an example, an operator that sets tariffs 150 percent higher than the government's ceiling price will have its operating license suspended for five weeks.’
      • ‘Pikitup's tariffs for business premises are R144 a month for a 240-litre bin and R164 for a 100-litre bin.’
      • ‘The research was carried out to promote Vodafone's new tariffs for small business.’
      • ‘PIC will be sold to telcos who will sell the units, or cover their cost through broadband connection tariffs, to the users.’
      • ‘Responding to media speculation about the price increases, the Energy Ministry last Friday rejected reports that it was considering cancelling night tariffs for electricity.’
      • ‘It's not a simple business: tariffs must be constantly reduced if the company is to stay competitive and overheads have to be brought down sharply.’
      • ‘Some commercial customers try to calculate electric bills based solely on tariffs and come up with lower amounts than seen on the bill.’
      • ‘Forex rates, climatic conditions, flight, bus and train timings, road maps, hotel and lodge tariffs along with phone numbers are also given.’
      price list, schedule, list of charges, rate
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    3. 1.3British Law A scale of sentences and damages for crimes and injuries of different severities.
      • ‘He said that existing detainees, whose tariffs had not yet expired, should make any representations that they wished to make to the Lord Chief Justice who would make recommendations to him.’
      • ‘You were convicted by a jury in 1984 of murder of your common-law wife and sentenced to life imprisonment, with the tariff set at 12 years.’
      • ‘Otherwise, his case will first be reviewed by the Parole Board in February 2003, 3 years prior to expiry of his tariff.’
      • ‘His murderer was given two life sentences with a tariff of 18 years.’
      • ‘This decision by the Home Secretary meant that prisoners could spend several years more in prison than was justified by the tariff for the crime they had committed.’


  • Fix the price of (something) according to a tariff.

    ‘these services are tariffed by volume’
    • ‘On May 12, 1988 the Department of Public Service filed comments on the service, recommending that the Commission change the ANI tariff to require that one service component, Pay-Per-View (PPV) service, be tariffed rather than priced on an individual case basis.’
    • ‘Naturally, there is an 090… number attached to the competition tariffed at £1.50 per minute, but there is also a ‘play by post’ option which they appear to offer with intense reluctance.’


Late 16th century (also denoting an arithmetical table): via French from Italian tariffa, based on Arabic ‘arrafa notify.