ferry

verb
fer·​ry | \ ˈfer-ē How to pronounce ferry (audio) , ˈfe-rē\
ferried; ferrying

Definition of ferry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to carry by boat over a body of water
b : to cross by a ferry
2a : to convey (as by aircraft or motor vehicle) from one place to another : transport
b : to fly (an airplane) from the factory or other shipping point to a designated delivery point or from one base to another

intransitive verb

: to cross water in a boat

ferry

noun
plural ferries

Definition of ferry (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place where persons or things are carried across a body of water (such as a river) in a boat
2 : ferryboat
3 : a franchise or right to operate a ferry service across a body of water
4 : an organized service and route for flying airplanes especially across a sea or continent for delivery to the user

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for ferry

Synonyms: Verb

bear, carry, cart, convey, haul, lug, pack, tote, transport

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ferry in a Sentence

Verb

The cars were ferried across the river. They ferry supplies to the island.

Noun

Ferries to both islands depart daily. You can get there by ferry. We'll meet you at the ferry.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

River workers ferried passengers and merchandise freely across the Suchiate between Mexico and Guatemala. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Latin America, Caribbean," 14 June 2019 By then, an armada of 4,000 ships was off the Normandy coast, and landing craft were ferrying tanks, infantry units and combat engineers toward the shore. Ron Grossman, Houston Chronicle, "IN THEIR OWN WORDS," 9 June 2019 The Falcon Heavy was ferrying the Arabsat-6A satellite, which was later succesfully deployed. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "SpaceX Falcon Heavy’s night launch pushed to no earlier than June 24: report," 8 June 2019 Women ferried over 50% of the combat aircraft within the United States, flying from 126 bases. Fox News, "Women at war: Backstage heroines in D-Day's 75th anniversary," 8 June 2019 With any luck, my robot friend and I just successfully ferried a parcel to someone in Colorado. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Inside the Amazon Warehouse Where Humans and Machines Become One," 5 June 2019 On a crisp sunny day last spring, the U.S. Coast Guard ferried Ketchikan’s eighth graders to their respective islands. Susan Shain, The Atlantic, "When Your Final Exam Is Surviving the Wilderness," 5 June 2019 The boats ferried uncensored dispatches to Florida and gave reporters a good view of naval military action. John Maxwell Hamilton, National Geographic, "In a battle for readers, two media barons sparked a war in the 1890s," 16 Apr. 2019 The images were made possible by a NASA B-200 King Air aircraft, which ferried an updated camera imaging system up to 30,000 feet. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Photographs Supersonic Shock Waves From the Closest Vantage Point Yet," 6 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some things to see are the WWII Submarine and Destroyer Escort at Seawolf Park, the ferry landing, drilling rigs, the Tall Ship Elissa, and more. Houston Chronicle, "Get in touch with nature in Galveston," 14 June 2019 Many Hongkongers had a sentimental attachment to the old ferry pier. Antony Dapiran, CNN, "City of dissent: Hong Kong has a proud tradition of protesting to protect its unique identity," 14 June 2019 The ferry’s engine whirred and Gwen pulled out her pink iPhone, which has a Spiderman sticker affixed to the back. Zoe Greenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "She’s the only kid on the island. And she’s graduating," 14 June 2019 Golden Gate ferry riders and Muni riders get 50 cents off when transferring to and from BART. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "BART plans to stop selling paper tickets by end of 2019," 14 June 2019 At night, the Revolutionary Guard would drop mines from vessels disguised as traditional dhows, which ferry cargo around the waters of the Persian Gulf. Washington Post, "Oil tanker attacks echo Persian Gulf’s 1980s ‘Tanker War’," 14 June 2019 What’s needed is a holistic approach that integrates the Bay Area’s 26 bus, train and ferry agencies and nine congestion management agencies. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Slow the train on $100 billion Bay Area transportation tax," 13 June 2019 With seven-, 14-, or 21-day vouchers (exchanged for cards upon your arrival), explore the JR train, bus, and ferry network from end to end along these five themed itineraries, custom-made by our expert. Ari Beser, National Geographic, "5 unforgettable train trips through Japan," 7 June 2019 The geological formation, known locally as Lone Rock Point, helps define Burlington’s waterfront by marking the northern boundary of the bay that includes the waterfront park, public beach, pedestrian path, ferry docks and marinas. USA TODAY, "Painting over history, saving cats’ claws, angry birds: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ferry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ferry

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for ferry

Verb

Middle English ferien, from Old English ferian to carry, convey; akin to Old English faran to go — more at fare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ferry

Statistics for ferry

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ferry

The first known use of ferry was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ferry

ferry

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ferry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to carry or move (someone or something) on a vehicle (such as a boat or a car) usually for a short distance between two places

ferry

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ferry (Entry 2 of 2)

: a place where a ferryboat operates

ferry

verb
fer·​ry | \ ˈfer-ē How to pronounce ferry (audio) \
ferried; ferrying

Kids Definition of ferry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to carry by boat over a body of water
2 : to cross a body of water by a ferryboat
3 : to transport for a short distance

ferry

noun
plural ferries

Kids Definition of ferry (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : ferryboat
2 : a place where persons or things are ferried

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ferry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ferry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ferry

Spanish Central: Translation of ferry

Nglish: Translation of ferry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ferry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ferry

What made you want to look up ferry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!