fer·ry·man | \ˈfer-ē-mən, ˈfe-rē-\

Definition of ferryman 

: a person who operates a ferry

Examples of ferryman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Politics are tangled up with love and passion in this drama, whose title refers to the Aeneid’s Charon, the ferryman who conveys souls to the land of the dead. Toby Zinman, Philly.com, "London Theater: 'The Ferryman' at the Royal Court, London: Delicious accents, hard truths, engaging cast," 6 May 2018 Many cultures in antiquity have buried their dead with coins as a way to pay a mythical ferryman to take their souls into the afterlife. New York Times, "The Baby’s Hand Was Mummified. Why Wasn’t the Rest of Its Body?," 18 May 2018 Director Nicolo Donato’s grandfather was one of the ferrymen. Loren King, BostonGlobe.com, "The National Center for Jewish Film festival turns 21," 19 Apr. 2018 On our glorious boat ride back from the glacier, our ruddy ferryman was beaming. New York Times, "In Certifiably Happy Norway, a Cranky Traveler Finds Some Bliss (Within Reason)," 30 Dec. 2017 Just pay the ferryman $40 bucks for the ride here and back. John Bordsen, USA TODAY, "Wild islands in the Carolinas," 12 Oct. 2017 The ritzy Van Peteghem clan vacations in their villa overlooking the bay; the Brufort family of mussel-gatherers and ferrymen live on a ramshackle farm in the lowlands. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Slack Bay," 14 Apr. 2017 Scientists have now confirmed that the creature is a second sighting of the species Bathochordaeus charon, named for the mythical Greek ferryman who was thought to transport souls of the dead across the River Styx. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "Mysterious Ocean Blob Found for First Time in a Century," 6 Dec. 2016 In Italy, there is a word for the manager who is called in when the warning lights are flashing and the fans are in revolt: traghettatore – the ferryman, the person who guides you through choppy waters to the safety of the bank. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Bob Bradley Is Out at Swansea. Round Up the Usual Replacements.," 27 Dec. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ferryman.' 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 ferryman

12th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ferryman

Statistics for ferryman

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ferryman

The first known use of ferryman was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ferryman



English Language Learners Definition of ferryman

: a person (especially a man) who operates a ferry

Comments on ferryman

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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