What does tariff mean?

Definitions for tariff
ˈtær ɪftar·iff

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tariff.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. duty, tariffverb

    a government tax on imports or exports

    "they signed a treaty to lower duties on trade between their countries"

  2. tariffverb

    charge a tariff

    "tariff imported goods"


  1. tariffnoun

    a system of government-imposed duties levied on imported or exported goods; a list of such duties, or the duties themselves

  2. tariffnoun

    a schedule of rates, fees or prices

  3. tariffnoun

    a sentence determined according to a scale of standard penalties for certain categories of crime

  4. tariffverb

    to levy a duty on (something)

  5. Etymology: tariffa, from تعاريف.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tariffnoun

    A cartel of commerce.

    Etymology: perhaps a Spanish word; tarif, Fr.

    This branch of our trade was regulated by a tariff, or declaration of the duties of import and export. Addison.


  1. Tariff

    A tariff is a tax imposed by the government of a country or by a supranational union on imports or exports of goods. Besides being a source of revenue for the government, import duties can also be a form of regulation of foreign trade and policy that taxes foreign products to encourage or safeguard domestic industry. Protective tariffs are among the most widely used instruments of protectionism, along with import quotas and export quotas and other non-tariff barriers to trade. Tariffs can be fixed (a constant sum per unit of imported goods or a percentage of the price) or variable (the amount varies according to the price). Taxing imports means people are less likely to buy them as they become more expensive. The intention is that they buy local products instead, boosting their country's economy. Tariffs therefore provide an incentive to develop production and replace imports with domestic products. Tariffs are meant to reduce pressure from foreign competition and reduce the trade deficit. They have historically been justified as a means to protect infant industries and to allow import substitution industrialization. Tariffs may also be used to rectify artificially low prices for certain imported goods, due to 'dumping', export subsidies or currency manipulation. There is near unanimous consensus among economists that tariffs have a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare, while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth. Although trade liberalization can sometimes result in large and unequally distributed losses and gains, and can, in the short run, cause significant economic dislocation of workers in import-competing sectors, free trade has advantages of lowering costs of goods and services for both producers and consumers.


  1. tariff

    A tariff is a tax or duty imposed on imported or exported goods and services by the government, often to protect domestic industries from foreign competition. It raises the price of imported goods, making them less competitive compared to domestically produced items. Tariffs can also be used as a political tool to penalize other countries.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tariffnoun

    a schedule, system, or scheme of duties imposed by the government of a country upon goods imported or exported; as, a revenue tariff; a protective tariff; Clay's compromise tariff. (U. S. 1833)

  2. Tariffnoun

    the duty, or rate of duty, so imposed; as, the tariff on wool; a tariff of two cents a pound

  3. Tariffnoun

    any schedule or system of rates, changes, etc.; as, a tariff of fees, or of railroad fares

  4. Tariffverb

    to make a list of duties on, as goods


  1. Tariff

    A tariff is either a tax on imports or exports, or a list of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage. The meaning in is now the more common meaning. The meaning in is historically earlier. The meaning in developed from a tabular list of tax rates for different import goods.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tariff

    tar′if, n. a list of the duties, &c., fixed by law on merchandise: a list of charges, fees, or prices. [Fr.,—Sp.,—Ar. ta‛rīf, giving information, from ‛arafa, to explain.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. tariff

    List of duties payable upon exported and imported goods.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tariff' in Nouns Frequency: #2645

How to pronounce tariff?

How to say tariff in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tariff in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tariff in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of tariff in a Sentence

  1. Wilbur Ross:

    There's no reason for tariffs to increase the price of steel by far more than the percentage of the tariff, and yet that's what has been happening, that clearly is not a result of the tariff, that's clearly a result of antisocial behavior by participants in the industry.

  2. Tommy Xie:

    We think China is unlikely to engineer 25% depreciation to counter the impact of tariff as the cost of capital outflows amid the shrinking current account surplus may outweigh the benefit of supporting export, the pressure on RMB depreciation may depend on three near-term factors including the size of China's retaliation package, U.S.'s plan to impose tariff on the remaining $325 billion products and market's assessment on whether the setback is temporary or not.

  3. Philip Hammond:

    I very much hope that we can avoid a full scale trade war (because) that would be a disaster for everyone, not least for the United States, but what I can say is this: whatever happens the UK will remain an outspoken proponent of open markets and free trade, low tariff barriers and low non-tariff barriers.

  4. Kevin Li:

    There is a risk that car sales won't be that good in the first quarter, but we need to make use of the tariff drop, we are paying for the tariff before receiving orders.

  5. The IMF:

    The U.S. and its trading partners should work...to reduce trade barriers and resolve trade and investment disagreements without resorting to tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tariff

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for tariff »


Find a translation for the tariff definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"tariff." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 23 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tariff>.

Discuss these tariff definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for tariff? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    not established or confirmed
    • A. unsealed
    • B. contiguous
    • C. proprietary
    • D. extroversive

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for tariff: