noun, plural fer·ries.
- a commercial service with terminals and boats for transporting persons, automobiles, etc., across a river or other comparatively small body of water.
- a ferryboat.
- a service for flying airplanes over a particular route, especially the delivery of airplanes to an overseas purchaser or base of operations.
- the legal right to ferry passengers, cargo, etc., and to charge for the service.
verb (used with object), fer·ried, fer·ry·ing.
- to carry or convey back and forth over a fixed route in a boat or plane.
- to fly (an airplane) over a particular route, especially for delivery.
verb (used without object), fer·ried, fer·ry·ing.
- to go in a ferry.
noun plural -ries
- Also called: ferryboat a vessel for transporting passengers and usually vehicles across a body of water, esp as a regular service
- such a service
- (in combination)a ferryman
- a legal right to charge for transporting passengers by boat
- the act or method of delivering aircraft by flying them to their destination
verb -ries, -rying or -ried
- to transport or go by ferry
- to deliver (an aircraft) by flying it to its destination
- (tr) to convey (passengers, goods, etc)the guests were ferried to the church in taxis
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.
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.).