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  • IPA(key): /ˈʃɪpɪŋ/
  • Rhymes: -ɪpɪŋ
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English schipping, schyppynge, from schippen, schipen (to take ship, navigate), from Old English scipian (to take ship; put in order, equip, man a ship), equivalent to ship +‎ -ing.


shipping (countable and uncountable, plural shippings)

  1. The transportation of goods.
    Coordinate terms: carriage, haulage
    • 2013 June 8, “The new masters and commanders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 52:
      From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. []   But viewed from high up in one of the growing number of skyscrapers in Sri Lanka’s capital, it is clear that something extraordinary is happening: China is creating a shipping hub just 200 miles from India’s southern tip.
  2. The body of ships belonging to one nation, port or industry; ships collectively.
    Coordinate terms: fleet, navy
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra[1], Act III, Scene 7:
      Our overplus of shipping will we burn; / And, with the rest full-mann’d, from the head of Actium / Beat the approaching Caesar.
    • 1724, Daniel Defoe, A General History of the Pyrates[2], London: T. Warner, Introduction, page 23:
      [] the Advantage appeared greatly on their Side, in Numbers of Shipping, and of Men;
    • 1855, Frederick Douglass, chapter 22, in My Bondage and My Freedom[3], New York: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, page 345:
      My first afternoon, on reaching New Bedford, was spent in visiting the wharves and viewing the shipping.
    • 1950 July, J. C. Mertens, “By the "Taurus Express" to Baghdad”, in Railway Magazine, page 435:
      Shipping of every sort, from passenger liners to ferry steamers, tramps to tugs and trailing barges, feluccas to speedboats and yachts, from warships to caiques, chugs, hoots, glides or churns its way in all directions.
    • 1970, Robertson Davies, chapter 2, in Fifth Business[4], Toronto: Macmillan, page 107:
      [] I clearly remember a castle on the shores of the lagoon, where gondolas appeared amid larger shipping, which seemed to be plying in and out of Naples []
  3. Passage or transport on a ship.
    Coordinate term: voyage
  4. The cost of sending an item or package via postal or carrier services.
    Coordinate term: postage
    The shipping is included in the quoted price.
  5. Navigation.
  6. (fandom slang) The desire by followers of a fandom for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters, to be in a romantic or sexual relationship.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From ship +‎ -ing.



  1. present participle and gerund of ship