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[dih-mur-ij] /dɪˈmɜr ɪdʒ/
noun, Commerce.
the detention in port of a vessel by the shipowner, as in loading or unloading, beyond the time allowed or agreed upon.
the similar undue detention of a railroad car, truck, etc.
a charge for such undue detention.
Origin of demurrage
1635-45; demur + -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for demurrage
Historical Examples
  • demurrage is generally given against a captor for unjustifiable detention.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • A ship unjustly detained, as a prize, is entitled to demurrage.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • We have delayed you a day, and if you will put in a bill for demurrage, I will approve it.

    The Outlet Andy Adams
  • At all events, the demurrage must be frequent, vexatious, and expensive.

  • A new boat and four days' work for a carpenter gang—perhaps eighteen hundred dollars' worth of damage, not counting the demurrage!

    Cappy Ricks Peter B. Kyne
  • Are you going to stick me for any demurrage on the vessel, Cappy?

    Cappy Ricks Retires Peter B. Kyne
  • If not delivered within that period, demurrage, as stated in the document, is paid per diem for any "unavoidable delay."

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • There was also an extra charge for demurrage or delays on the road attributable to the traveller himself.

  • But they did not commence taking them on board, so the captain of the barge put a demurrage of $20 per day for detention.

  • We claim that normally we would rather have the cars than the dollars of demurrage.

British Dictionary definitions for demurrage


the delaying of a ship, railway wagon, etc, caused by the charterer's failure to load, unload, etc, before the time of scheduled departure
the extra charge required as compensation for such delay
a fee charged by the Bank of England for changing bullion into notes
Word Origin
C17: from Old French demorage, demourage; see demur
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for demurrage

1640s, from Old French demorage, from demorer (see demur).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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