[ tar-if ]
/ ˈtær ɪf /
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See synonyms for: tariff / tariffs on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
to subject to a tariff.
to put a valuation on according to a tariff.
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Origin of tariff

1585–95; earlier tariffa<Italian <Arabic taʿrīfah, derivative of ʿarrafa to make known


tar·iff·less, adjectivepre·tar·iff, noun, adjectivepro·tar·iff, adjectivere·tar·iff, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does tariff mean?

A tariff is a tax or duty on products that come into a country (imports) or leave it (exports), imposed by the country’s government.

A tariff is also the list of taxes a government imposes on imports and exports.

To tariff can mean to subject to a tariff.

Example: There is a high tariff on foreign music CDs, so I just stream it instead.

Where does tariff come from?

The first records of the term tariff come from the late 1500s. It ultimately comes from the Arabic ‘arrafa, meaning “to make known.” A tariff is most commonly associated with a board or chart readily available at ports and customs that lists the taxes imposed on different imports.

Tariffs are often used to try to protect industries within a country that make the same kind of products that are being imported to. By charging a tariff for an import, it is hoped that the price the customer pays for the product will be more for the imported product than for the domestic one. For example, if the United States wants to encourage its citizens to buy cars made in the US, it might impose a tariff on cars made in other countries and then imported to the US. There is a lot of debate about whether tariffs really do encourage customers to buy domestic goods.

In the same way that a chart will show tariffs on goods, a tariff can also be found at public transportation centers such as a bus or train station. These tariffs often list charges such as fares and fees for pets, as well as a variety of discounts, such as for children and veterans.

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What are some other forms related to tariff

  • tariffless (adjective)
  • pretariff (adjective, noun)
  • protariff (adjective)
  • retariff (verb)

What are some synonyms for tariff?

What are some words that share a root or word element with tariff

What are some words that often get used in discussing tariff?

How is tariff used in real life?

Tariff is most commonly used in trade and economics discussions. It is a hot topic in politics from time to time, and tariffs can directly impact foreign affairs.



Try using tariff!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for tariff?

A. excise
B. tax
C. duty
D. refund

How to use tariff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tariff

/ (ˈtærɪf) /

verb (tr)
to set a tariff on
to set a price on according to a schedule of tariffs

Derived forms of tariff

tariffless, adjective

Word Origin for tariff

C16: from Italian tariffa, from Arabic ta`rīfa to inform
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

Cultural definitions for tariff


A government tax on imports, designed either to raise revenue or to protect domestic industry from foreign competition.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.