See more synonyms for ferry on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural fer·ries.
  1. a commercial service with terminals and boats for transporting persons, automobiles, etc., across a river or other comparatively small body of water.
  2. a ferryboat.
  3. a service for flying airplanes over a particular route, especially the delivery of airplanes to an overseas purchaser or base of operations.
  4. the legal right to ferry passengers, cargo, etc., and to charge for the service.
verb (used with object), fer·ried, fer·ry·ing.
  1. to carry or convey back and forth over a fixed route in a boat or plane.
  2. to fly (an airplane) over a particular route, especially for delivery.
verb (used without object), fer·ried, fer·ry·ing.
  1. to go in a ferry.

Origin of ferry

before 1150; Middle English ferien, Old English ferian to carry; cognate with Old Norse ferja, Gothic farjan; akin to fare
Related formsun·fer·ried, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ferried

tote, send, shuttle, lug, carry, ship, transport, chauffeur, buck, run, bear, convey, pack, schlepp

Examples from the Web for ferried

Contemporary Examples of ferried

Historical Examples of ferried

  • Johnnie Challn ferried us across the river in two instalments.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • This we ferried by means of the bark canoe carried on the shoulders of Tawabinisy.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • He'd ferried me down to the hilltop in the long shadows of early morning.


    Jim Wannamaker

  • The tourists are ferried over, as also are the donkeys on which the tourists ride.

    The Bertrams

    Anthony Trollope

  • Behold they have been ferried over Styx, and have passed away into limbo.

    Roundabout Papers

    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for ferried


noun plural -ries
  1. Also called: ferryboat a vessel for transporting passengers and usually vehicles across a body of water, esp as a regular service
    1. such a service
    2. (in combination)a ferryman
  2. a legal right to charge for transporting passengers by boat
  3. the act or method of delivering aircraft by flying them to their destination
verb -ries, -rying or -ried
  1. to transport or go by ferry
  2. to deliver (an aircraft) by flying it to its destination
  3. (tr) to convey (passengers, goods, etc)the guests were ferried to the church in taxis

Word Origin for ferry

Old English ferian to carry, bring; related to Old Norse ferja to transport, Gothic farjan; see fare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ferried



early 15c., "a passage over a river," from Old Norse ferju- "passage across water," ultimately from the same Germanic root as ferry (v.). The modern noun (1580s) is a shortening of ferry boat (mid-15c.).



Old English ferian "to carry, convey, bring, transport," from Proto-Germanic *farjanan (cf. Old Frisian feria "carry, transport," Old Norse ferja "to pass over, to ferry," Gothic farjan "travel by boat"), from PIE *per- "going, passage." Related to fare (v.). Related: Ferried; ferries; ferrying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper