• synonyms


noun Commerce.
  1. the detention in port of a vessel by the shipowner, as in loading or unloading, beyond the time allowed or agreed upon.
  2. the similar undue detention of a railroad car, truck, etc.
  3. a charge for such undue detention.
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Origin of demurrage

First recorded in 1635–45; demur + -age
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for demurrage

Historical Examples

  • A ship unjustly detained, as a prize, is entitled to demurrage.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • At all events, the demurrage must be frequent, vexatious, and expensive.

  • Are you going to stick me for any demurrage on the vessel, Cappy?

    Cappy Ricks Retires

    Peter B. Kyne

  • We have delayed you a day, and if you will put in a bill for demurrage, I will approve it.

    The Outlet

    Andy Adams

  • There was also an extra charge for demurrage or delays on the road attributable to the traveller himself.

British Dictionary definitions for demurrage


  1. the delaying of a ship, railway wagon, etc, caused by the charterer's failure to load, unload, etc, before the time of scheduled departure
  2. the extra charge required as compensation for such delay
  3. a fee charged by the Bank of England for changing bullion into notes
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Word Origin

C17: from Old French demorage, demourage; see demur
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

Word Origin and History for demurrage


1640s, from Old French demorage, from demorer (see demur).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper