Definition of payload in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpāˌlōd/


1The part of a vehicle’s load, especially an aircraft’s, from which revenue is derived; passengers and cargo.
Example sentences
  • The airplane will usually be carrying a payload (passengers, cargo, weapons) and often a full load of fuel.
  • The airline wanted an aircraft with excellent payload to achieve a good passenger-seat-per-mile cost even though it would be a more expensive aircraft to initially purchase.
  • A long, slender fuselage was necessary to contain most of the fuel as well as the landing gear and payloads.
1.1Equipment, personnel, or satellites carried by a spacecraft.
Example sentences
  • The satellite will carry a payload that will transmit a Galileo experimental signal.
  • I've restricted it to spacecraft carrying useful payloads that actually flew.
  • It operates microgravity science payloads for ground and spaceflight research.
1.2 Computing The actual information or message in transmitted data, as opposed to automatically generated metadata.
Example sentences
  • The original client request to the presentation server is typically in HTTP with a possible payload of XML.
  • There are limits to how much lossless data compression can compress and increase the payload of a TCP/IP data packet.
  • In general, each message contains a source, a destination, metadata, as well as the data payload itself.
2An explosive warhead carried by a missile.
Example sentences
  • It will carry a warhead payload of 404 dual-purpose improved conventional munition bomblets.
  • Moreover, it is studying new kinds of warheads and payloads for the missiles, as well as new missiles.
  • It will have a 30-minute loiter time at 70 kilometers capability using a micro turbojet engine and a warhead payload.
2.1 Computing The effects of a virus on a computer system.
Example sentences
  • Sophos experts have advised customers about a new email-aware worm that has an unusual payload.
  • His Gokar worm also had a malicious payload - it attempted to overwrite the main page on the websites of infected companies.
  • It does not have a malicious payload, meaning it does not destroy or alter information within a computer.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pay·load

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