Definition of tonnage in English:

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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


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ton·nage

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