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Etymology 1[edit]

From Late Latin primagium. (The French word post-dates the English.)


primage (countable and uncountable, plural primages)

  1. (archaic) A payment made for loading or unloading a ship, or for care of goods during transit by ship.
    • 1818, John Adolphus, The Political State of the British Empire, Volume 3, page 197,
      By the bill of lading the maſter undertakes to deliver the goods on payment of freight with primage and average accuſtomed.
  2. (archaic, Britain) An import duty levied by a guild of harbour pilots (especially at Kingston-upon-Hull and Newcastle-upon-Tyne).
  3. (Australia, New Zealand) An additional import duty levied by customs.
    • 1932, E. T. McPhee (Commonwealth Statistician), Official Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia: No. 25 - 1932,
      The rate of primage duty was subsequently increased to 4 per cent. as from the 6th November, 1930.

Etymology 2[edit]

From prime +‎ -age.


primage (countable and uncountable, plural primages)

  1. (engineering, rare) Droplets of water suspended in steam (especially in the cylinder of a steam engine).
    • 1883, Emory Edwards, Modern American Locomotive Engines: Their Design, Construction and Management, page 75,
      Of these temperatures, only one, the second, indicates primage; all others exhibit a slight superheat.