[hwawr-fin-jer, wawr-]

Origin of wharfinger

1545–55; wharfage + -er1, with -n- as in passenger, messenger, etc.
Also called wharf·mas·ter [hwawrf-mas-ter, -mah-ster, wawrf-] /ˈʰwɔrfˌmæs tɛr, -ˌmɑ stər, ˈwɔrf-/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wharfinger

Historical Examples of wharfinger

  • He turned to the wharfinger, who was pulling leisurely at his pipe.


    Gertrude Atherton

  • I asked the wharfinger if he knew her, but he had never seen her before.

    The Darrow Enigma

    Melvin L. Severy

  • Mr. Gibney stepped into the wharfinger's office and requested permission to use the telephone.

    Captain Scraggs

    Peter B. Kyne

  • The dock warrant was issued by the wharfinger as certificate that he held the goods.

  • They had reached the wharf office by this time, and were readily admitted by the wharfinger and given a place at the back end.

British Dictionary definitions for wharfinger


  1. an owner or manager of a wharf

Word Origin for wharfinger

C16: probably alteration of wharfager (see wharfage, -er 1); compare harbinger
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 wharfinger

"operator or manager of a wharf," 1550s, from wharfage (mid-15c.), from wharf (q.v.) + agent noun suffix -er + intrusive -n- as in messenger.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper