from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A port or an area of a port in which imported goods can be held or processed free of customs duties before reexport.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. A port where goods of all kinds are received from ships of all nations at equal rates of duty.
- n. See under Free.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a port open on equal terms to all commercial vessels
- n. an area adjoining a port where goods that are intended for reshipment can be received and stored without payment of duties
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Here, too, I find myself, on account of the same ignorance of your commercial regulations, at a loss to say why this is preferable to L'Orient, which, you know, is a free port and in great latitude, which is nearer to both parties, and accessible by a less dangerous navigation.