[doo-tee-free, dyoo-]

adjective, adverb

free of customs duty or tax on imported or exported goods: duty-free cargo; merchandise shipped duty-free.
pertaining to or selling goods for import or export free of the usual customs duty: a duty-free shop at the airport.

Origin of duty-free

1680–90; duty (in the sense “an import or export tax”) + -free
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for duty-free

Contemporary Examples of duty-free

  • Even more than competition to his bridge, Maroun objects to competition for his duty-free gasoline stations.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Price of the Tea Party

    David Frum

    June 16, 2012

  • One communicates with her by text, if at all, meeting only in the duty-free zones of strip clubs and hotel suites.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Rise of the Alpha Female

    Lizzie Skurnick

    December 11, 2009

Historical Examples of duty-free

British Dictionary definitions for duty-free


adjective, adverb

with exemption from customs or excise duties


goods sold in a duty-free shop
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