Definition of dunnage in English:



mass noun
  • 1Loose wood, matting, or similar material used to keep a cargo in position in a ship's hold.

    • ‘Other waste reduction opportunities may involve the packaging, protective dunnage, trailer loading pattern and timing for delivering parts to assembly lines or after-market parts distributors.’
    • ‘At least 6 inches of airspace should be between the ammunition and protective covering on the sides, 6 inches of dunnage should be on the bottom, and the roof should be 18 inches from the top of the stack.’
    • ‘But it seems to me that selling boxes half-full of dunnage is likely to gain you sales only once, and subsequently to backfire on the seller.’
    • ‘One occasion I recall was a crew moving some assembled GBU - 24 guided bombs on a ready pad from one row of dunnage to the other.’
    • ‘When the hatch cover was closed the fire was smouldering in the dunnage, most likely the carpet, and the vessel sailed from Constanza in that condition.’
  • 2informal, dated A person's belongings, especially those brought on board ship.

    • ‘Mr. Hornblower, you are to gather your dunnage and return to Indefatigable.’
    • ‘This man, our head packer, would supervise the loading of our eight strings of livestock (a packer, his horse, and five mules per string) that would carry our food, dunnage, and commissary equipment.’
    • ‘If the following day's hike is to be seven miles or less, the pack train carries commissary supplies and equipment up to the new camp in the morning, returns in the afternoon for dunnage, and packs up again.’
    • ‘In the Sierra's chill morning air we packed our dunnage, weighed it in again, and gathered in quiet groups around the 20-gallon coffeepot.’
    • ‘The arrival of mule strings with dunnage and cooking equipment set the camp into a frenzy.’
    belongings, possessions, stuff, property, worldly goods, goods, personal effects, effects, paraphernalia, impedimenta, bits and pieces, bits and bobs


Middle English of unknown origin.