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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n tonnage a tax imposed on ships that enter the US; based on the tonnage of the ship
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tonnage A duty or impost on vessels, estimated per ton, or, a duty, toll, or rate payable on goods per ton transported on canals.
    • Tonnage The cubical content or burden of a vessel, or vessels, in tons; or, the amount of weight which one or several vessels may carry. See Ton n.. "A fleet . . . with an aggregate tonnage of 60,000 seemed sufficient to conquer the world."
    • Tonnage The weight of goods carried in a boat or a ship.
    • Tonnage The whole amount of shipping estimated by tons; as, the tonnage of the United States. See Ton.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tonnage The weight of goods carried in a boat or ship.
    • n tonnage The carrying capacity of a ship expressed in cubic tons. Until 1836 the tonnage of British ships was found by multiplying the square of the breadth by the inboard length, and then dividing by 94. This is now called the “old measurement” (O. M.), and, though far from exact, is still in use to some extent for ascertaining the tonnage of pleasure-yachts, etc. As the cubic ton of 100 cubic feet forms the unit of assessment for dock, harbor, and other dues, towage, etc., and as by the old system the depth of a ship was reckoned the same as the breadth, it became the interest of ship-owners to build vessels of narrow beam, but of increased depth. This resulted in a saving in tonnage-dues, but marred the sailing qualities and seaworthiness of the ships. In 1836 a new and more exact system of measurement was established by enactment of Parliament in the preceding year. In this system, known as the Moorsom system, as amended and elaborated in detail in later enactments, actual measurements of depth are made at certain intervals, the number of which depends on the length of the tonnage-deck of the vessel, and transverse areas at these points are computed, all measurements being put in feet and decimal parts of a foot. These transverse areas after being multiplied by certain numbers are added together, multiplied by one third the common distance between the areas, and then divided by 100. To this must be added the tonnage of all spaces above the tonnage-deck, the poop (if any), deck-houses, etc., which is obtained by multiplying the horizontal area by the mean height and dividing by 100 as before. These together give the gross register tonnage, each ton (called a register ton) containing 100 cubic feet. In steamships the space occupied by the engine-room and the screw-shaft (which is considered a part of the engine-room) is to be deducted. The British system of measurement was adopted by the United States in 1864, and later by Denmark, Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Russia, Finland, Hayti, Belgium, Japan, etc., and in its essentials by the International Tonnage Congress which met at Constantinople in 1873 in connection with fixing the basis for tolls for vessels passing through the Suez Canal. As applied in these different countries there are slight differences in the rules for the deduction of engine-room tonnage, and in the United States the number of transverse areas is greater. The rule followed in the United States before 1865, when the new measurement came into force, was to multiply the extreme length of the ship (less one third its breadth) by the breadth and the depth, and then divide by 95. In freighting ships, 40 cubic feet of merchandise is considered a ton, unless that bulk would weigh more than 2,000 pounds, in which case freight is charged by weight.
    • n tonnage A duty or impost on ships, formerly estimated at so much per ton of freight, but now proportioned to the registered size of the vessels.
    • n tonnage The ships of a port or nation collectively estimated by their capacity in tons: as, the tonnage of the United States.
    • tonnage To levy tonnage upon.
    • tonnage To have capacity or tonnage: followed by an accusative of quantity.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tonnage tun′āj in regard to ships, a measure both of cubical capacity and of dead-weight carrying capability—the freight ton simply means 40 cubic feet of space available for cargo, and is therefore two-fifths of a register ton: a duty on ships, estimated per ton
    • Tonnage Also Tun′nage
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Ton a measure


In literature:

The last arrangement is calculated to have practically destroyed a tonnage of two millions.
"The Evolution of Modern Capitalism" by John Atkinson Hobson
That amount of money means so much aggregate tonnage.
"Lessons of the war with Spain and other articles" by Alfred T. Mahan
Their total tonnage came to 18,245.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume III (of VIII)" by Various
Their tonnage was 15,000.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)" by Various
The combined tonnage was 297,178.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8)"
These ships had a total tonnage of 103,000 tons.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII)" by Various
In the morning the yard was nearly cleared of westbound tonnage.
"Whispering Smith" by Frank H. Spearman
The harbour is large and safe for ships of heavy tonnage.
"The Last Voyage" by Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
She had a tonnage of 700 tons, and her engines were of 320 horse-power.
"Gossip in the First Decade of Victoria's Reign" by John Ashton
Steel, agriculture, the tonnage of coal mined, of petroleum pumped.
"Expediter" by Dallas McCord Reynolds
With the tonnage they have on that ship, it'll take a chunk out of the surface the size of Australia.
"Jack of No Trades" by Charles Cottrell
The percentage of steamers under the British flag was 37.1; of tonnage, 45.9.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 2" by Various
Tonnage is all right in a ship; but it doesn't signify much, either in a city or a woman.
"Aliens" by William McFee
Charge for tonnage of goods, 10s.
"Railway Adventures and Anecdotes extending over more than fifty years" by Various
The whole wealth of the nation would be in the hands of the "Tonnage Bank," and the Bank would be in the hands of the Sovereign.
"Old and New London" by Walter Thornbury
The roadsteads of Rach-Gia, Ca-Mau, and Ha-Tien can accommodate only vessels of low tonnage.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 5" by Various
Among the vessels of all nations, the British are first in numbers and tonnage, the Greek second.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 4" by Various
Under certain conditions sorghums will yield greater tonnage than corn, and the resulting silage is but slightly inferior.
"Florida: An Ideal Cattle State" by Florida State Live Stock Association
In 1888 the total tonnage was 7,800,000; in 1905 it had risen to 19,662,000.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 2" by Various
The nationality of the tonnage was, British 2,771,000, including Australian 288,000, and foreign 948,000.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 8" by Various

In news:

The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was unchanged in July after increasing 1.1% in June.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index slips 0.9% in August 2012.
The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index contracted 0.9% in August after increasing 0.4% in July.
The American Trucking Associations' tonnage index dropped fell in August compared to September but showed modest growth over last year.
The ATA's advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index contracted 0.9% in August after increasing 0.4% in July.
Port had record month for cargo tonnage in July.
The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was unchanged in July after increasing 1.1% in June.
Tonnage is still up year over year.
Overall, Georgia's ports boosted tonnage by 561,038 tons to 26.5 million last fiscal year.
The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index dropped 0.7% in May after falling 1.1% in April.
For-hire truck tonnage fell 0.7 percent in May from April but grew at a slightly brisker pace on a year-over-year basis, 4.1 percent, reflecting a slowing, not stalling, of economic growth.
American Trucking Association Truck Tonnage Index rose 5.9 percent over the previous year, the largest annual increase since 1998.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index posts largest annual gain in 13 years.
Despite a decline in the August Truck Tonnage numbers, there is some positive news showing up among the latest economic reports for the industry.
(ATA) reported a slight decline in the August Truck Tonnage Index.