Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To bring or carry in from an outside source, especially to bring in (goods or materials) from a foreign country for trade or sale.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To receive (data) into one program from another.
  • transitive v. To carry or hold the meaning of; signify: a high inflation rate importing hard times for the consumer.
  • transitive v. To imply.
  • transitive v. Archaic To have importance for.
  • intransitive v. To be significant. See Synonyms at count1.
  • n. Something imported.
  • n. The act or occupation of importing goods or materials.
  • n. Meaning; signification. See Synonyms at meaning.
  • n. Importance; significance: a legal decision of far-reaching import. See Synonyms at importance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something brought in from an exterior source, especially for sale or trade.
  • n. The practice of importing.
  • n. Significance, importance.
  • v. To bring (something) in from a foreign country, especially for sale or trade.
  • v. To load a file into a software application for use as a resource in a greater data file.
  • v. To mean, signify
  • v. To express, to imply.
  • v. To be important; to be significant; to be of consequence.
  • v. To be of importance to (someone or something).
  • v. To be incumbent on (someone to do something).
  • v. To be important or crucial to (that something happen).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Merchandise imported, or brought into a country from without its boundaries; -- generally in the plural, opposed to exports.
  • n. That which a word, phrase, or document contains as its signification or intention or interpretation of a word, action, event, and the like.
  • n. Importance; weight; consequence.
  • intransitive v. To signify; to purport; to be of moment.
  • transitive v. To bring in from abroad; to introduce from without; especially, to bring (wares or merchandise) into a place or country from a foreign country, in the transactions of commerce; -- opposed to export.
  • transitive v. To carry or include, as meaning or intention; to imply; to signify.
  • transitive v. To be of importance or consequence to; to have a bearing on; to concern.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring from without; introduce from abroad; especially, to bring from a foreign country, or from another state, into one's own country or state: opposed to export: as, to import wares and merchandise.
  • Hence To bring or introduce from one use, connection, or relation into another: as, to import irrelevant matter into a discussion.
  • To bear or convey in meaning or implication; signify; mean; denote; betoken.
  • To be of importance, interest, or consequence to; concern; have a bearing upon.
  • To have significance; be of importance.
  • n. That which is imported or brought from without or from abroad; especially, merchandise brought into one country from another: usually in the plural: opposed to export.
  • n. The intrinsic meaning conveyed by anything; the significance borne by, or the interpretation to be drawn from, an event, action, speech, writing, or the like; purport; bearing: as, the import of one's conduct.
  • n. Importance; consequence; moment.
  • n. Synonyms Sense, gist, tenor, substance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. commodities (goods or services) bought from a foreign country
  • v. bring in from abroad
  • v. indicate or signify
  • v. transfer (electronic data) into a database or document
  • n. a meaning that is not expressly stated but can be inferred
  • n. having important effects or influence
  • n. an imported person brought from a foreign country
  • n. the message that is intended or expressed or signified

Etymologies

Middle English importen, to convey a meaning, from Medieval Latin importāre and from Old French importer, to cause, both from Latin importāre, to carry in, cause : in-, in; see in-2 + portāre, to carry; see per-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(verb) From Middle English importen, from Latin importō ("I bring in from abroad, import"), from in ("in, at, on; into") + portō ("I carry, bear; convey"). (Wiktionary)
From Italian importare, and French importer, from Latin importō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Well, that's not what I wanted!

    May 1, 2007