Definition of ferry in English:


Syllabification: fer·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈferē

noun (plural ferries)

(also ferryboat)
  • 1A boat or ship for conveying passengers and goods, especially over a relatively short distance and as a regular service.
    More example sentences
    • I have seen him on a ferry boat on the Hudson River joke with the Italian bootblacks in the Neapolitan dialect and with complete success.
    • A ferry boat dropped us at a wooden quay to be met by a waiter bearing rum punch.
    • But if a rider refused a search, the State Patrol informed the captain of the ferry boat, who then refused to let the rider on the boat.
    passenger boat, passenger ship, ferry boat, car ferry; ship, boat, vessel
    historical packet, packet boat
  • 1.1A service for conveying passengers or goods by boat or ship.
    More example sentences
    • A fast ferry operates in the summer season, travelling between Wellington and Picton in ninety minutes.
    • The Senegalese army, which was operating the ferry, said rescue operations would continue around the site and inside the boat.
    • He and his brother started by operating a rope-and-pulley ferry at Gorino Sulam, on the Gnocca branch of the river.
  • 1.2The place from which a ferry service operates.
    More example sentences
    • Members can meet at the ferry at 10 A. M.
    • Unfortunately, you have to be at the ferry by 6:30, so it was still a short night.
  • 1.3A service using another mode of transportation to convey passengers and goods, especially aircraft.
    More example sentences
    • If he did, I could have flown my aircraft on a ferry permit to another island to have it repaired.
    • We are more than happy to provide a quote for you aircraft ferry & delivery needs.
    • The legal terminology for a ferry permit is called a special flight permit.

verb (ferries, ferrying, ferried)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Convey in a ferry or other ship or boat, especially across a short stretch of water: riverboats ferried weekend picnickers to the park
    More example sentences
    • Canoes and rafts ferry imperious ‘water spirits’ to masquerade venues.
    • The boats ferry about 30,000 people to and from work everyday.
    • Some ideas for the future of the lake already put forward include a water taxi ferrying more visitors around the lake, a cyclepath around its perimeter, and improving public rights-of-way around the shoreline.
  • 1.1Transport from one place to another on short or regular trips: helicopters ferried 4,000 men into the desert
    More example sentences
    • A black-robed priest offered what words of consolation and comfort he could to distraught onlookers as more than 20 ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals.
    • Restrictions remained in place on the city's main thoroughfare for a couple of hours as gardaí cordoned off the scene and ambulances ferried the injured to hospital.
    • Ambulances that on Friday ferried the injured to hospital, spent yesterday standing by at the funerals to help relatives overcome with grief.
    transport, convey, carry, ship, run, take, bring, shuttle



/ˈferēmən/ (plural ferrymen)
More example sentences
  • Every table has views over the loch, and the renovated croft and ferryman's cottage is decorated in a light, breezy way that immediately puts you at ease.
  • The ferryman steered his craft across the moonlit Nile.
  • My grim Mexican ferryman didn't utter a word throughout the crossing.


Middle English: from Old Norse ferja 'ferryboat', of Germanic origin and related to fare.

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