[ pey-lohd ]
/ ˈpeɪˌloʊd /


the part of a cargo producing revenue or income, usually expressed in weight.
the number of paying passengers, as on an airplane.
Aerospace, Military.
  1. the bomb load, warhead, cargo, or passengers of an aircraft, a rocket, missile, etc., for delivery at a target or destination.
  2. the total complement of equipment carried by a spacecraft for the performance of a particular mission in space.
  3. the explosive energy of the warhead of a missile or of the bomb load of an aircraft: a payload of 50 megatons.

Origin of payload

First recorded in 1925–30; pay1 + load Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for payload

British Dictionary definitions for payload

/ (ˈpeɪˌləʊd) /


that part of a cargo earning revenue
  1. the passengers, cargo, or bombs carried by an aircraft
  2. the equipment carried by a rocket, satellite, or spacecraft
the explosive power of a warhead, bomb, etc, carried by a missile or aircrafta missile carrying a 50-megaton payload
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