Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Nautical To transport (people, vehicles, or goods) by boat across a body of water.
  • transitive v. Nautical To cross (a body of water) by a ferry.
  • transitive v. To deliver (a vehicle, especially an aircraft) under its own power to its eventual user.
  • transitive v. To transport (people or goods) by vehicle, especially by aircraft.
  • intransitive v. To cross a body of water on or as if on a ferry.
  • n. Nautical A ferryboat.
  • n. Nautical A place where passengers or goods are transported across a body of water, such as a river or bay, by a ferryboat.
  • n. A franchise or legal right to operate a ferrying service for a fee.
  • n. A service and route for delivering an aircraft under its own power to its eventual user.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A ship used to transport people, smaller vehicles and goods from one port to another, usually on a regular schedule.
  • n. A place where passengers are transported across water in such a ship.
  • n. The legal right or franchise that entitles a corporate body or an individual to operate such a service.
  • v. To carry; transport; convey.
  • v. To move someone or something from one place to another, usually repeatedly.
  • v. To carry or transport over a contracted body of water, as a river or strait, in a boat or other floating conveyance plying between opposite shores.
  • v. To pass over water in a boat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To carry or transport over a river, strait, or other narrow water, in a boat.
  • transitive v. To convey back and forth regularly between two points in a vehicle.
  • intransitive v. To pass over water in a boat or by a ferry.
  • n. A place where persons or things are carried across a river, arm of the sea, etc., in a ferryboat.
  • n. A vessel in which passengers and goods are conveyed over narrow waters; a ferryboat; a wherry.
  • n. A franchise or right to maintain a vessel for carrying passengers and freight across a river, bay, etc., charging tolls.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To carry or transport over a contracted body of water, as a river or strait, in a boat or other floating conveyance plying between opposite shores.
  • To pass over water in a boat.
  • n. A boat or raft in which passengers and goods are conveyed over a river or other contracted body of water; a wherry.
  • n. The place or passage where boats pass over water to convey passengers and goods.
  • n. A provision for the regular conveyance by boat or raft of passengers and goods across a river or other body of water between opposite shores: as, to establish a ferry; also, the legal right to maintain such a conveyance, and to charge reasonable toll for the service.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. travel by ferry
  • n. a boat that transports people or vehicles across a body of water and operates on a regular schedule
  • n. transport by boat or aircraft
  • v. transport from one place to another
  • v. transport by ferry

Etymologies

Middle English ferien, from Old English ferian; see per-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English ferien ("to carry, convey, convey in a boat"), from Old English ferian ("to carry, convey, bear, bring, lead, conduct, betake oneself to, be versed in, depart, go"), from Proto-Germanic *farjanan (“to make or let go, transfer, ferry”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“to bring or carry over, transfer, pass through”). Cognate with German dialectal feren, fähren ("to row, sail"), Danish færge ("to ferry"), Swedish färja ("to ferry"), Icelandic ferja ("to ferry"). Related to fare. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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