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[kahr-goh] /ˈkɑr goʊ/
noun, plural cargoes, cargos.
the lading or freight of a ship, airplane, etc.
cargos, pants or shorts having several cargo pockets to hold bulky gear and small items.
of or denoting a style of pants or shorts with cargo pockets.
Origin of cargo
1640-50; < Spanish: a load, noun derivative of cargar to load < Late Latin carricāre; see charge
1. See freight. 2. burden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cargo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When we got out the cargo, we found it much damaged, particularly the wheat.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • We had an ordinary run to Charleston, and began to prepare for the reception of our cargo.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Our cargo was nearly out, and this man and I had a row about some kegs of white lead.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • We arrived at Canton in due time, and found our cargo ready for us.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • We got our cargo off in boats, and sailed for Batavia, to clear; all within a few weeks.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for cargo


noun (pl) -goes, -gos
  1. goods carried by a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle; freight
  2. (as modifier): a cargo vessel
any load: the train pulled in with its cargo of new arrivals
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish: from cargar to load, from Late Latin carricāre to load a vehicle, from carruscar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cargo

1650s, "freight loaded on a ship," from Spanish cargo "burden," from cargar "to load, impose taxes," from Late Latin carricare "to load on a cart" (see charge (v.)). South Pacific cargo cult is from 1949. Cargo pants attested from 1977.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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