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Meaning of dead freight

dead' freight'

Pronunciation: [key]
— Com. Com.
  1. an amount owed by a contractor who charters space in a ship but fails to occupy it fully.
  2. the unoccupied space of such a ship.
  3. heavy or unwieldy nonperishable freight.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.