Definition of tonnage in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtənij/


1Weight in tons, especially of cargo or freight: road convoys carry more tonnage
More example sentences
  • The drop in dry cargo tonnage was disappointing but you can't legislate for bad harvests.
  • The quarterly results were helped by a surge in March when there was double digit month-on-month growth in both the number of passengers and cargo tonnage.
  • In the United States today, common carrier and private trucking fleets transport about two-thirds of all freight tonnage and, thus, play a critical role in the economy.
1.1The size or carrying capacity of a ship measured in tons.
Example sentences
  • Before 1836 the registered tonnage of sailing ships was a notional figure calculated by a formula based on the length, breadth and depth of the hold.
  • Prior to this only ships of low tonnage and shallow draught had been able to cross the sand bar at the entrance to the bay.
  • The naval aviation managed to sink 19 ships and vessels, including the Pelagos, a tanker whose tonnage exceeded 12,000 grt, which made it the biggest ship sunk in the Polar Regions.
1.2Shipping considered in terms of total carrying capacity: the port’s total tonnage
More example sentences
  • Singapore port is set to retain its position as the world's busiest port in terms of shipping tonnage for the 14th year running.
  • Singapore has been the world's top port in terms of shipping tonnage in the past decade or more.
  • The total tonnage handled by the 13 minor ports came to just 100,000 last year, whereas Kochi handled 12.8 million tonnes.


Early 17th century (denoting a charge per ton on cargo): from ton1 + -age.

Words that rhyme with tonnage

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.