Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A boat or raft in which passengers and goods are conveyed over a river or other contracted body of water; a wherry.
  • noun The place or passage where boats pass over water to convey passengers and goods.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A ship used to transport people, smaller vehicles and goods from one port to another, usually on a regular schedule.
  • noun A place where passengers are transported across water in such a ship.
  • noun The legal right or franchise that entitles a corporate body or an individual to operate such a service.
  • verb transitive To carry; transport; convey.
  • verb transitive To move someone or something from one place to another, usually repeatedly.
  • verb transitive 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.
  • verb intransitive To pass over water in a boat.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English ferien, from Old English ferian; see per- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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