[ verb trans-fur, trans-fer; noun, adjective trans-fer ]
See synonyms for: transfertransferredtransferring on

verb (used with object),trans·ferred, trans·fer·ring.
  1. to convey or remove from one place, person, etc., to another: He transferred the package from one hand to the other.

  2. to cause to pass from one person to another, as thought, qualities, or power; transmit.

  1. Law. to make over the possession or control of: to transfer a title to land.

  2. to imprint, impress, or otherwise convey (a drawing, design, pattern, etc.) from one surface to another.

verb (used without object),trans·ferred, trans·fer·ring.
  1. to remove oneself from one place to another: to transfer from the New York office to London.

  2. to withdraw from one school, college, or the like, and enter another: I transferred from Rutgers to Tulane.

  1. to be moved from one place to another: to transfer to overseas duty.

  2. to change by means of a transfer from one bus, train, or the like, to another.

  1. a means or system of transferring.

  2. an act of transferring.

  1. the fact of being transferred.

  2. a point or place for transferring.

  3. a ticket entitling a passenger to continue a journey on another bus, train, or the like.

  4. a drawing, design, pattern, or the like, that is or may be transferred from one surface to another, usually by direct contact.

  5. a person who changes or is changed from one college, military unit, business department, etc., to another.

  6. Law. a conveyance, by sale, gift, or otherwise, of real or personal property, to another.

  7. Finance. the act of having the ownership of a stock or registered bond transferred.

  8. Also called transfer of training. Psychology. the positive or negative influence of prior learning on subsequent learning.: Compare generalization (def. 4).

  9. Also called language transfer. Linguistics. the application of native-language rules in attempted performance in a second language, in some cases resulting in deviations from target-language norms and in other cases facilitating second-language acquisition.

  1. of, relating to, or involving transfer payments.

Origin of transfer

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English transferren, from Latin trānsferre, from trāns trans- + ferre “to bring, carry”; see also bear1

Other words from transfer

  • trans·fer·a·ble, trans·fer·ra·ble, adjective
  • trans·fer·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • trans·fer·rer, noun
  • non·trans·fer·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • non·trans·fer·a·ble, adjective
  • re·trans·fer, verb (used with object), re·trans·ferred, re·trans·fer·ring.
  • re·trans·fer, noun
  • un·trans·fer·a·ble, adjective
  • un·trans·ferred, adjective
  • un·trans·fer·ring, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use transfer in a sentence

  • Ergo, the book becomes a multiplatform object transferable wherever the reader wants to go.

  • They were transferable, and were actually transferred to this side upon which the invaders disembarked.

  • It is non-transferable because it is based upon the possession of certain qualifications peculiar to the permittee.

    Our National Forests | Richard H. Douai Boerker
  • The grazing use of the National Forest lands is therefore only a personal and non-transferable privilege.

    Our National Forests | Richard H. Douai Boerker
  • The best advice is mere theory until applied, and experience in the practical things of life is not transferable.

    Wells Brothers | Andy Adams
  • He will not fall into the error of supposing that experience is altogether a transferable commodity.

    The Claims of Labour | Arthur Helps

British Dictionary definitions for transfer


verb(trænsˈfɜː) -fers, -ferring or -ferred
  1. to change or go or cause to change or go from one thing, person, or point to another: they transferred from the Park Hotel to the Imperial; she transferred her affections to her dog

  2. to change (buses, trains, etc)

  1. law to make over (property, etc) to another; convey

  2. to displace (a drawing, design, etc) from one surface to another

  3. (of a football player, esp a professional) to change clubs or (of a club, manager, etc) to sell or release (a player) to another club

  4. to leave one school, college, etc, and enrol at another

  5. to change (the meaning of a word, etc), esp by metaphorical extension

  1. the act, process, or system of transferring, or the state of being transferred

    • a person or thing that transfers or is transferred

    • (as modifier): a transfer student

  1. a design or drawing that is transferred from one surface to another, as by ironing a printed design onto cloth

  2. law the passing of title to property or other right from one person to another by act of the parties or by operation of law; conveyance

  3. finance

    • the act of transferring the title of ownership to shares or registered bonds in the books of the issuing enterprise

    • (as modifier): transfer deed; transfer form

  4. any document or form effecting or regulating a transfer

  5. mainly US and Canadian a ticket that allows a passenger to change routes

Origin of transfer

C14: from Latin transferre, from trans- + ferre to carry

Derived forms of transfer

  • transferable or transferrable, adjective
  • transferability, noun

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