[ taks ]
See synonyms for: taxtaxedtaxestaxing on

  1. a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.

  2. a burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand.

verb (used with object)
  1. (of a government)

    • to demand a tax from (a person, business, etc.).

    • to demand a tax in consideration of the possession or occurrence of (income, goods, sales, etc.), usually in proportion to the value of money involved.

  2. to lay a burden on; make serious demands on: to tax one's resources.

  1. to take to task; censure; reprove; accuse: to tax one with laziness.

  2. Informal. to charge: What did he tax you for that?

  3. Archaic. to estimate or determine the amount or value of.

verb (used without object)
  1. to levy taxes.

Origin of tax

First recorded in 1250–1300; (for the verb) Middle English taxen, from Medieval Latin taxāre, from Latin: “to appraise, charge, estimate,” literally, “to touch repeatedly,” from tangere “to touch”; noun derivative of the verb

Other words for tax

Other words from tax

  • taxer, noun
  • tax·ing·ly, adverb
  • taxless, adjective
  • tax·less·ly, adverb
  • tax·less·ness, noun
  • an·ti·tax, adjective
  • non·tax, noun, adjective
  • non·tax·er, noun
  • pro·tax, adjective
  • re·tax, verb (used with object)
  • self-taxed, adjective
  • sub·tax·er, noun
  • un·der·taxed, adjective
  • un·tax, verb (used with object)
  • well-taxed, adjective

Words that may be confused with tax

Words Nearby tax

Other definitions for tax- (2 of 2)


  1. variant of taxo- before a vowel: taxeme. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use tax in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tax


/ (tæks) /

  1. a compulsory financial contribution imposed by a government to raise revenue, levied on the income or property of persons or organizations, on the production costs or sales prices of goods and services, etc

  2. a heavy demand on something; strain: a tax on our resources

  1. to levy a tax on (persons, companies, etc, or their incomes, etc)

  2. to make heavy demands on; strain: to tax one's intellect

  1. to accuse, charge, or blame: he was taxed with the crime

  2. to determine (the amount legally chargeable or allowable to a party to a legal action), as by examining the solicitor's bill of costs: to tax costs

  3. slang to steal

Origin of tax

C13: from Old French taxer, from Latin taxāre to appraise, from tangere to touch

Derived forms of tax

  • taxer, noun
  • taxless, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with tax


In addition to the idiom beginning with tax

  • tax with

also see:

  • death and taxes

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.