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

  • n. The number of passengers or the amount of cargo that a boat can hold.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large quantity.

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

  • n. the amount of cargo that can be held by a boat or ship or a freight car


From boat + load. Notionally, because the commodity in question might have constituted the entire load of a cargo ship or boat. (Wiktionary)



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