The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Tax \Tax\, n. [F. taxe, fr. taxer to tax, L. taxare to touch,
sharply, to feel, handle, to censure, value, estimate, fr.
tangere, tactum, to touch. See Tangent, and cf. Task,
1. A charge, especially a pecuniary burden which is imposed
by authority. Specifically:
(a) A charge or burden laid upon persons or property for
the support of a government.
A farmer of taxes is, of all creditors,
proverbially the most rapacious. --Macaulay.
(b) Especially, the sum laid upon specific things, as upon
polls, lands, houses, income, etc.; as, a land tax; a
window tax; a tax on carriages, and the like.
Note: Taxes are annual or perpetual, direct or
(c) A sum imposed or levied upon the members of a society
to defray its expenses.
2. A task exacted from one who is under control; a
contribution or service, the rendering of which is imposed
upon a subject.
3. A disagreeable or burdensome duty or charge; as, a heavy
tax on time or health.
4. Charge; censure. [Obs.] --Clarendon.
5. A lesson to be learned; a task. [Obs.] --Johnson.
Tax cart, a spring cart subject to a low tax. [Eng.]
Syn: Impost; tribute; contribution; duty; toll; rate;
assessment; exaction; custom; demand.