[ tar-if ]
See synonyms for: tarifftariffs on Thesaurus.com

  1. an official list or table showing the duties or customs imposed by a government on imports or exports.

  2. the schedule or system of duties so imposed.

  1. any duty or rate of duty in such a list or schedule.

  2. any table of charges, as of a railroad, bus line, etc.

  3. bill; cost; charge.

verb (used with object)
  1. to subject to a tariff.

  2. to put a valuation on according to a tariff.

Origin of tariff

First recorded in 1585–95; earlier tariffa, from Italian, from Arabic taʿrīfah, derivative of ʿarrafa “to make known,” akin to ʿarafa “to know”

Other words from tariff

  • tar·iff·less, adjective
  • pre·tar·iff, noun, adjective
  • pro·tar·iff, adjective
  • re·tar·iff, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby tariff

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use tariff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tariff


/ (ˈtærɪf) /

    • a tax levied by a government on imports or occasionally exports for purposes of protection, support of the balance of payments, or the raising of revenue

    • a system or list of such taxes

  1. any schedule of prices, fees, fares, etc

  1. mainly British

    • a method of charging for the supply of services, esp public services, such as gas and electricity: block tariff

    • a schedule of such charges

  2. mainly British a bill of fare with prices listed; menu

  3. British the level of punishment imposed for a criminal offence

  1. to set a tariff on

  2. to set a price on according to a schedule of tariffs

Origin of tariff

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

Derived forms of tariff

  • tariffless, adjective

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.