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

  • n. Detention of a ship, freight car, or other cargo conveyance during loading or unloading beyond the scheduled time of departure.
  • n. Compensation paid for such detention.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the detention of a ship or other freight vehicle, during delayed loading or unloading
  • n. compensation paid for such detention
  • n. a charge made for exchanging currency for bullion

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The detention of a vessel by the freighter beyond the time allowed in her charter party for loading, unloading, or sailing.
  • n. The allowance made to the master or owner of the ship for such delay or detention.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In maritime law:
  • n. Any detention of a vessel by the freighter in loading or unloading beyond the time originally stipulated. When a vessel is thus detained she is said to be on demurrage.
  • n. The compensation which the freighter has to pay for such delay or detention.
  • n. Detention of railway-wagons, etc.
  • n. A charge of 1½d. per ounce, made by the Bank of England in exchanging notes or coin for bullion.

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

  • n. a charge required as compensation for the delay of a ship or freight car or other cargo beyond its scheduled time of departure
  • n. detention of a ship or freight car or other cargo beyond its scheduled time of departure


1640s, from Old French demorage, from demorer (English demur), from Latin demorari ("to tarry"). (Wiktionary)


  • To discourage people from hoarding it, they should impose a fee (called demurrage), which had the same effect as negative interest.

    P2P Foundation

  • In addition to all this, the company providing its carriages or waggons is entitled to "demurrage" for every day beyond a certain time that these are detained by the companies to which they do not belong.

    The Iron Horse

  • There are a number of such regional currency schemes in place, quite many of them being based on ideas of the Austrian Silvio Gesell; a key one being that of "demurrage:" holding on to money rather than getting it back into circulation fast is punished in some form.

    Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

  • He explained further that after being refined in Spain, the refined products are then taken by marketers and imported into the country and demurrage which is the cost incurred by reason of transaction delays in the ports of a country, are normally charged by the importer for the duration in excess of the number of days agreed for evacuating the product.

    AllAfrica News: Latest

  • The idea of the Wörgl was that it was money that went off, it lost value over time, a process known as 'demurrage'.

    Transition Culture

  • "round voyage," as was the of the case with the LADY ARBELLA, though it is to be hoped there was no "demurrage" clause, exacting damage, as is usual, for each day of detention beyond the "lay days" allowed, for the long and unexpected tarries in Cape Cod and Plymouth harbors must have rolled up an appalling "demurrage" claim.

    The Mayflower and Her Log; July 15, 1620-May 6, 1621 — Complete

  • "We've decided to charge the demurrage and other expenses and loss to Tui Tulifau," Grief said.


  • With Vietnamese authorities insisting on outright rejection and fresh shipments, traders said they have already incurred large demurrage costs and plan to sell the cargoes to Indonesia as the corn is still in good condition and complies with international norms.

    Vietnam Says Indian Corn No Good, Blames Pest

  • His color is really incredible and his tail seems to take possession of our demurrage.

    Space Oddysey Inspired Apartment by Romolo Stanco

  • To my knowledge, the administration hasn't offered to pay demurrage while the White House and its special commission learn how to regulate an industry likely already saddled with more regulations than any other in the world.

    Bad Policy Fallout From BP Spill


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  • "... is an allowance made to the master of a ship by the merchants, for having detained him longer in port than the time previously appointed and agreed for his departure. The rate of this allowance is generally settled in the charter-party. It is now firmly established, that the claim of demurrage ceases as soon as the ship is cleared out, and ready for sailing. Jameson v. Lawrie, House of Lords, Nov. 10, 1796."
    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 120

    October 14, 2008