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payload

[pey-lohd] /ˈpeɪˌloʊd/
noun
1.
the part of a cargo producing revenue or income, usually expressed in weight.
2.
the number of paying passengers, as on an airplane.
3.
Aerospace, Military.
  1. the bomb load, warhead, cargo, or passengers of an aircraft, a rocket, missile, etc., for delivery at a target or destination.
  2. the total complement of equipment carried by a spacecraft for the performance of a particular mission in space.
  3. the explosive energy of the warhead of a missile or of the bomb load of an aircraft:
    a payload of 50 megatons.
Origin
1925-1930
1925-30; pay1 + load
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pay load

payload

/ˈpeɪˌləʊd/
noun
1.
that part of a cargo earning revenue
2.
  1. the passengers, cargo, or bombs carried by an aircraft
  2. the equipment carried by a rocket, satellite, or spacecraft
3.
the explosive power of a warhead, bomb, etc, carried by a missile or aircraft: a missile carrying a 50-megaton payload
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 pay load

payload

n.

also pay-load, 1917, from pay + load (n.). Originally the part of a truck's (later an aircraft's) load from which revenue is derived (passengers, cargo, mail); figurative sense of "bombs, etc. carried by a plane or missile" is from 1936.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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