Definition of transfer in English:

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Pronunciation: /transˈfər/
Pronunciation: /ˈtransfər/
(transfers, transferring, transferred)
1Move from one place to another: [with object]: he would have to transfer money to his own account [no object]: I went to sleep on the couch before transferring to my bedroom later in the night
More example sentences
  • At ten I transferred myself from the couch to the bed.
  • Otherwise, the grease and dirt on the gloves transfers to the couch or clothing.
  • Finally, if you need a blood transfusion (when donated blood is transferred into your body), you may need a blood test to check what blood group you are.
move, convey, take, bring, shift, remove, carry, transport;
transplant, relocate, resettle
1.1Move to another group, occupation, or service: [no object]: she transferred to the Physics Department [with object]: employees have been transferred to the installation team
More example sentences
  • He is demanding that the 170,000 federal employees being transferred into the new department lose both their civil service protection and union representation.
  • This figure included some 30,000 new employees - including teachers - who had been transferred from central government departments.
  • For a two-year period, he worked in the old force control room before moving to Kendal traffic department, later transferring to the North and West Traffic Unit.
1.2 [no object] Enroll in a different school or college: Ron transferred to the University of Idaho
More example sentences
  • If expanding your network of contacts doesn't work, you may want to transfer to a different college.
  • Ad I went to two years in college in Portland and transferred schools down here and went to Loyola and Mary Mount University for a couple semesters.
  • It's not like this is my first job, and yet, I feel like an awkward geeky, loser who's just transferred from a different junior high school.
1.3(In professional sports) move or cause to move to another team: [no object]: he transferred to the Dodgers [with object]: when a player is transferred to the minors by a major league club
More example sentences
  • He moved over to St. Louis in 1899 when the owner of the two teams transferred his best players to the Cardinals.
  • It drives transfer markets, makes football a viable business and keeps teams fresh.
  • I don't know what goes on in the world of football transfers these days.
1.4Redirect (a telephone call) to another line or extension.
Example sentences
  • The line was transferred to the man's office and he picked up as Vincent greeted, ‘Hey, Lionel.’
  • Eric heard a click as Haylie transferred the line.
  • She asked if I would like to be transferred to the phone department to talk to someone about the phone charges that are wrong.
1.5 [with object] Copy (a drawing or design) from one surface to another.
Example sentences
  • He then turned his paper over, before placing it on the canvas and applying powdered chalk to transfer the design to the surface beneath.
  • Additionally, an artist or publisher who transfers an artwork by a license can also retain greater control over the way it is marketed.
  • Students use their previously prepared drawings to transfer their images to the leather-hard clay planter.
1.6 [with object] Copy (data, music, etc.) from one medium or device to another: you can easily transfer your personal data to another PC using the export feature
2 [no object] Change to another place, route, or means of transportation during a journey: John advised him to transfer from Rome airport to the railroad station
More example sentences
  • A few minutes later, the bus arrives at the location where I need to transfer to another route.
  • It means rail passengers will no longer have to transfer to buses for journeys around Stockport.
  • Another key dislike is transferring, they like a direct journey, really they want to get from A to B as quickly and as easily as possible.
3 [with object] Make over the possession of (property, a right, or a responsibility) to someone else.
Example sentences
  • First, property rights were transferred from advanced cooperatives to the commune, further centralizing ownership.
  • The Government wants to transfer the onus of responsibility but without giving any remuneration for the costs associated with it.
  • Moreover, one party cannot simply extinguish its responsibility by transferring custody to another.
hand over, pass on, make over, turn over, sign over, consign, devolve, assign, delegate
4 [with object] (usually as adjective transferred) Change (the sense of a word or phrase) by extension or metaphor: a transferred use of the Old English noun
More example sentences
  • I am a lapsed Catholic and have no doubt transferred that sense of scripture from the Bible to poetry.
  • Quite different is the Chinese term ‘scorch heart’, which transfers the metaphor of heat to the domain of worry.
  • Because the different strands of Victorian intellectual life were so interconnected, metaphors were constantly transferred from one to another.


Pronunciation: /ˈtran(t)sfər/
1An act of moving something or someone to another place: a transfer of wealth to the poorer nations she was going to ask her boss for a transfer to the city a patient had died after transfer from the County Hospital to St. Peter’s
More example sentences
  • One tool might be to authorize interbasin transfers, moving water from one basin to another.
  • Gift economies are not so much exchanges between two agents as they are transfers, the sheer moving of stuff through webs of human relations.
  • Not only does that entail a transfer of wealth from cities to suburbs, it also means that services are not supplied where they are most valued.
move, conveyance, transferral, transference, shift, relocation, removal, switch, transplantation
1.1British An act of selling or moving an athlete to another team: his transfer from Rangers cost £800,000
1.2A student who has enrolled in a different school or college.
Example sentences
  • However, there can be no doubt that diminished enrollment in the community colleges reduced the transfer student pipeline.
  • But studies prove that college transfer students do as well in ongoing academic work and in future careers as their direct-entry to university counterparts.
  • Although these campuses are excited about their four-year status, both have a primary goal of serving transfer students from community colleges.
1.3A conveyance of property, especially stocks, from one person to another.
Example sentences
  • ‘Conveyance’ being the transfer of property from the conveyor to the purchaser.
  • Both parties shall execute all property transfers and documents reasonably necessary to fully effect the sale closing, failing which the court may be spoken to for directions.
  • Article 14 also contains provisions as to what should happen if the transferor defaults in executing a transfer of his shares.
1.4The action of copying data from one medium or device to another.
2A small colored picture or design on paper that can be transferred to another surface by being pressed or heated: T-shirts with iron-on transfers
More example sentences
  • You can stencil, stamp, use an iron-on transfer or freehand a design.
  • It's easier to use, is more consistent and has a larger surface for bigger transfers.
  • They did a fine job with the transfer, as the picture is clear and crisp.
3An act of changing to another place, route, or means of transportation during a journey: it took three hours and several bus transfers to get there
More example sentences
  • The shortage of sheltered safe berthing forces commercial craft to moor off in stormy conditions with potentially hazardous transfers in open boats.
  • Despite bursts of slow running south of Fort Lauderdale we arrived at the Miami Metrorail transfer only 7 minutes late.
  • The business folks had shared $80 cab rides from the Miami Metrorail transfer to West Palm Beach.
3.1North American A ticket allowing a passenger to change from one public transportation vehicle to another as part of a single journey.
Example sentences
  • The new system will feature magnetic FareSaver tickets and ticket transfers which passengers will be able to insert into digital fare boxes on buses.
  • The metro system in the reference design is very cunning: there are only three lines, and everything is reachable with a single transfer.
  • Passengers can ask for a transfer ticket when they board the bus.
ticket, pass;
receipt, proof of purchase



Pronunciation: /ˌtran(t)sfəˈrē/
Example sentences
  • The transferees receive a stable/fixed amount per capita, the transferors pay a variable amount per capita.
  • The moral rights law requires that the authors who wish to invoke the right to withdraw indemnify their transferees prior to asserting the right.
  • Most transferees found considerable difficulty in obtaining the additional five hectares, either through buying or renting lands.


Pronunciation: /tran(t)sˈfərər/
Pronunciation: /ˈtran(t)sfərər/
(chiefly Law )
Example sentences
  • The transferees receive a stable/fixed amount per capita, the transferors pay a variable amount per capita.
  • A transferor, including a father or mother, should be allowed to assist the transferee in the normal day to day running of the farm.
  • From this year, the transferee will retain the national reserve allocations granted to the transferor.


Example sentences
  • If client A is a transferrer, the capabilities are released when client B completes it operations.
  • Besides, it also summarizes the status quo of international service outsourcing transferrer and destination market.
  • Unlike third parties the transferrer of an undertaking remains aware of the contents of any transferred know-how, since he cannot divest himself of his own knowledge.


Late Middle English (as a verb): from French transférer or Latin transferre, from trans- 'across' + ferre 'to bear'. The earliest use of the noun (late 17th century) was as a legal term in the sense 'conveyance of property'.

  • refer from Late Middle English:

    Refer comes from Latin referre ‘carry back’, from re- ‘back’ and ferre ‘bring’. Referee dates from the early 17th century, but did not appear in sports contexts until the mid 19th century. Referre is also the source of mid 19th-century referendum from the Latin for ‘referring’. Ferre is the source of numerous words in English including confer ‘bring together’; defer ‘put to one side or away’, which shares an origin with differ; fertile ‘bearing’; and transfer ‘carry across’, all of which came into the language in the Late Middle English period.

Words that rhyme with transfer

à deux, agent provocateur, astir, auteur, aver, bestir, blur, bon viveur, burr, Chandigarh, coiffeur, concur, confer, connoisseur, cordon-bleu, cri de cœur, cur, danseur, Darfur, defer, demur, de rigueur, deter, entrepreneur, er, err, farceur, faute de mieux, fir, flâneur, Fleur, force majeure, fur, hauteur, her, infer, inter, jongleur, Kerr, littérateur, longueur, masseur, Monseigneur, monsieur, Montesquieu, Montreux, murre, myrrh, occur, pas de deux, Pasteur, per, pisteur, poseur, pot-au-feu, prefer, prie-dieu, pudeur, purr, raconteur, rapporteur, refer, répétiteur, restaurateur, saboteur, sabreur, seigneur, Sher, shirr, sir, skirr, slur, souteneur, spur, stir, tant mieux, Ur, vieux jeu, voyageur, voyeur, were, whirr

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trans·fer

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