Meaning of “import” in the English Dictionary

"import" in British English

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importverb [ T ]

uk /ɪmˈpɔːt/ us /ˈɪm.pɔːrt/

B2 to buy or bring in products from another country:

We import a large number of cars from Japan.
Compare

to introduce new goods, customs, or ideas to one country from another:

Jazz is an American modification of musical conventions imported from Europe.
the spelling of imported words

specialized computing to copy information from one computer or computer program to another:

I need to import data from the database into this spreadsheet.
imported files

More examples

  • In some countries, importing drugs is a capital offence.
  • The business imports rugs from India.
  • The fruit had been imported from Spain.
  • The country is importing energy from foreign suppliers.
  • How do I import these files onto the hard disk?
importation
noun [ U ] /ˌɪm.pɔːˈteɪ.ʃən/ /ˌɪm.pɔːrˈteɪ.ʃən/

He opposed efforts to allow the importation of prescription drugs from other countries.

importnoun

uk /ˈɪm.pɔːt/ us /ˈɪm.pɔːrt/

import noun (BRINGING IN)

C1 [ C ] goods bought by one country from another:

C2 [ U ] also importation the action of bringing goods or fashions into a country:

the illegal importation of drugs
an import licence
import duties

More examples

  • Further increases in imports could destabilize the economy.
  • They have put an embargo on imports of clothing.
  • Continued rapid growth in consumer spending will suck in more imports.
  • The programme aims to make the country self-sufficient in food production and to cut energy imports.
  • The tobacco industry loses millions every year due to parallel imports.

(Definition of “import” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"import" in American English

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importverb [ T ]

us /ɪmˈpɔrt, -ˈpoʊrt/

import verb [ T ] (BRING IN)

to bring in products, goods, etc. from another country for sale or use:

We import a large number of cars from Japan.

To import information into a program or computer is to copy it from another program or form of storage.

importation
noun [ U ] us /ˌɪm·pɔrˈteɪ·ʃən, -poʊr-/

He opposed efforts to allow the importation of prescription drugs from other countries.

importnoun

us /ˈɪm·pɔrt, -poʊrt/

import noun (IMPORTANCE)

[ U ] fml the importance given to something:

It is still too early to judge the political import of his speech.

import noun (PRODUCT)

[ C ] something bought and taken into a country from another:

Imports of foreign cars are at an all-time high.

(Definition of “import” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"import" in Business English

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importnoun

uk /ˈɪmpɔːt/ us COMMERCE

[ C, usually plural ] a product that is made in one country and brought into another, especially in order to sell it:

Oil is our most important import by far.
cheap/expensive/imports

[ C or U ] the activity or business of bringing goods into a country from another country:

The authorities imposed a ban on imports of hormone-treated beef.
Trade (the sum of exports and imports) was equivalent to 44% of GDP.
The officials were accused of evading tariffs on the import of cars and other luxury goods.
imports [ plural ]

the quantity of goods brought into one country from another during a particular period of time, or the value of these goods:

US imports of vehicles from Japan rose to $2.23 billion in March.
growth/increase/decline in imports
Compare

importverb

uk /ɪmˈpɔːt/ us

[ I or T ] COMMERCE to bring a product into a country from another country, especially in order to sell it:

In some large chains, more than 80% of all produce is imported.
For four consecutive quarters, the country has exported more than it has imported.
import sth from/into sth We can undercut British showroom prices by up to 30% by importing cars from cheaper European markets.
Some of the Chinese cars being imported into European countries use electrical components from Germany.
Machinery products must comply with the safety regulations of the importing countries.

[ T ] to introduce new goods, customs, or ideas to one country from another:

The Brazilian-owned steel company has become one of the two biggest employers in town, importing a new management style and fresh capital to the area.

[ T ] IT to copy information from one computer or computer program to another:

The images can be imported directly into the page layout.
Compare
importable
adjective

20 industrial fabrics were moved on to the list of freely importable goods in 2005.

(Definition of “import” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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