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

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 Around noon Monday, police boarded an empty N train, which ferried officers down the track to retrieve the wayward herbivores. Sarah Maslin Nir, The Seattle Times, "Not Your Average Subway Delay: Hungry Goats on the Tracks," 20 Aug. 2018 Not all of those goods stay in the state, but the activity creates paychecks for legions of California longshoremen and truck drivers who ferry cargo from docks to warehouses and beyond. Andrew Khouri, latimes.com, "California gains 14,000 jobs, and unemployment continues to fall," 23 Mar. 2018 These capsules are only designed to ferry astronauts to the space station orbiting Earth, and will likely require extensive upgrades to reach the moon. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Asks for More than a Billion Dollars to Return to the Moon," 14 May 2019 Ambulances lined up at the accident site to ferry the injured to local hospitals. Fox News, "Airliner crashes in northern Mexico; no deaths, 37 injured," 31 July 2018 Using the same technologies seen in self-driving cars and aerial drones, researchers are developing driverless vessels to be used as water taxis and to ferry cargo and garbage within cities — while easing traffic congestion on nearby roadways. Tom Metcalfe /, NBC News, "How self-driving 'roboats' could swarm to simplify city life," 8 June 2018 With no roads connecting it to the rest of the state, even legislators have to ferry or fly in for sessions. Jenna Schnuer, Anchorage Daily News, "Visiting Juneau is a capital idea," 3 May 2018 Dustie can often be found ferrying orders of collard greens and grits (her favorite) to happy customers. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

George Simon, on a ferry between Calais and Dover, imports and exports farm machinery for his company SimTech Aitchison and travels between Europe and the U.K. multiple times a year. Max Colchester, WSJ, "On Both Sides of the English Channel, Authorities Brace for ‘No Deal’ Brexit Customs Snarls," 31 Dec. 2018 The body of Aaron Dibella was recovered just before 1 a.m. Sunday, hours after Dibella went overboard on the Provincetown II ferry at Sector Boston, near Peddocks Island, Boston 25 News reported. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Army vet dies after falling off party cruise in Boston Harbor," 10 Sep. 2018 General Admission starts at $85, and Early Access ($145) offers fast-pass line privileges and a spot on the first ferry to Liberty State Park that leaves from Battery Park in Manhattan. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "What to Expect at the 2018 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic," 26 Apr. 2018 Long gone but by no means forgotten, Blackbeard's dreaded black flag will fly on state ferries to the Outer Banks this year. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "He maimed, killed, plundered. Why will NC fly Blackbeard's creepy black flag again? | Charlotte Observer," 5 Apr. 2018 With police stations and juvenile facilities overflowing in Cadiz, Spain's southernmost province, authorities are setting up makeshift housing in sports facilities, rented hostels or even ferry terminals. Aritz Parra, Fox News, "Spain feels the heat as migrants shift route into Europe," 29 June 2018 With police stations and juvenile facilities overflowing in Cadiz, Spain’s southernmost province, authorities are setting up makeshift housing in sports facilities, rented hostels or even ferry terminals. Washington Post, "Spain feels the heat as migrants shift route into Europe," 29 June 2018 From Sidney, which also is home to a ferry terminal linking the island to Washington state, the four of us made the 17-mile drive south to downtown Victoria and the tourist area around British Columbia’s handsome government buildings. Roy Harris Jr., latimes.com, "A road trip in the Pacific Northwest is better with a little help from our friends," 20 May 2018 The pretty harbor promenade, recently re-planted with more foliage and trees than ever before, starts near the ferry terminal and small, open-air fish market. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Perfect (Long) Weekend in St. Barts," 16 Apr. 2018

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

3 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

a tendency to relapse

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!