Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Loose packing material used to protect a ship's cargo from damage during transport.
  • n. Personal baggage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Scrap material, often wood, used to fill spaces to prevent items from shifting during transport, or underneath large or heavy items to raise them slightly above the ground.
  • n. Personal effects; baggage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Fagots, boughs, or loose materials of any kind, laid on the bottom of the hold for the cargo to rest upon to prevent injury by water, or stowed among casks and other cargo to prevent their motion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To stow with fagots or loose wood, as the bottom of a ship's hold; wedge or chock, as cargo. See dunnage, n.
  • n. Fagots, boughs, or loose wood laid in the hold of a ship to raise heavy goods above the bottom and prevent injury from water; also, loose articles of lading wedged between parts of the cargo to hold them steady and prevent injury from friction or collision.
  • n. Baggage.

Etymologies

Middle English dennage, from Middle Dutch denne, flooring of a ship.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Reusable industrial packaging, known as dunnage, is frequently made from EPP due to its durability and its inherent ability to absorb energy in transit.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Braintech solutions will guide robots manufactured by ABB Inc.'s Robotic, Automotive and Manufacturing Group to locate heavy transmission castings on pallets called "dunnage", move the castings to a work area, and then pick up the empty dunnage and place it on a conveyor.

    3D vision systems

  • From the article:Braintech solutions will guide robots manufactured by ABB Inc.'s Robotic, Automotive and Manufacturing Group to locate heavy transmission castings on pallets called "dunnage", move the castings to a work area, and then pick up the empty dunnage and place it on a conveyor.

    Archive 2004-03-01

  • The flat boat was quickly poled out to her, and what Swiftwater called their "dunnage" was placed aboard.

    The Boy Scouts on the Yukon

  • A light hurricane deck was above all, on which the passengers could promenade up and down to their hearts 'content, having comfortable cane-bottomed seats along the sides to sit down upon when tired and no gear, or rope coils, or other nautical "dunnage," to interrupt their free locomotion on this king of quarter-decks, which had, besides, an awning on top to tone down the potency of the western sun.

    Fritz and Eric The Brother Crusoes

  • I had my "dunnage" sent aboard and then stopped at the office and signed on.

    Mr. Trunnell, Mate of the Ship "Pirate"

  • After my smoke was finished and I had rested, I carried my "dunnage" around to the point where I intended to begin my fishing, put the lunch basket in a shady place beneath the bushes, and the bait pail in the water nearby, changed my shoes for the fishing boots, rigged my rod and was ready.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

  • The _Shark's_ boat came alongside just then, and the men passed down their "dunnage" into her amid a brisk fire of good-humoured chaff from their shipmates, and such enquiries as: "Hello, Jim, haven't you got so much as a monkey or a parrot to cheer us up with?" and so on.

    A Middy in Command A Tale of the Slave Squadron

  • Stowing away his "dunnage," therefore, in the after deck - house, and flinging his bedding into the berth which he selected for his own occupation, he quickly rejoined the mate, who furnished him with book and pencil, and stationed him at the after hatchway to take account of everything which passed down that receptacle.

    The Missing Merchantman

  • Then they cast off the gripes and tackle falls, and lowered her until her gunwale was just level with the rail, when they began to pass into her and stow the kegs of water, provisions, and other matters that they intended taking with them; and by the extreme care that each man bestowed upon the storage of his own particular bundle of "dunnage," I felt tolerably certain that their respective parcels of gems were concealed therein.

    The Castaways

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  • "... a quantity of fagots (sic), boughs of trees, or other loose wood, laid in the bottom of a ship, either to raise the heavy goods which might make her too stiff, or to keep the cargo sufficiently above the bottom, that it may sustain no damage from the water, if the ship is leaky."
    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 128

    A Sea of Words: ... also, a sailor's personal baggage. (182)

    October 14, 2008

  • "'Mr Pullings, a bosun's chair, if you please, a whip for the dunnage, and pass the word for the children.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 24-25

    February 11, 2008