v. fer·ried, fer·ry·ing, fer·ries
a. To transport (people, vehicles, or goods) by boat across a body of water such as a river or bay.
b. To cross (a body of water) by a ferry.
a. To deliver (a vehicle, especially an aircraft) under its own power to its eventual user.
b. To transport (people or goods) by vehicle, especially by aircraft.
1. To cross a body of water on or as if on a ferry.
2. To move laterally in a fast-moving river, as in a canoe, by keeping one's boat at an angle to the direction of flow and paddling or rowing against the current.
n. pl. fer·ries
a. A ferryboat.
b. A place where passengers or goods are transported across a body of water, such as a river or bay, by a ferryboat.
2. A franchise or legal right to operate a ferrying service for a fee.
3. A service and route for delivering an aircraft under its own power to its eventual user.
[Middle English ferien, from Old English ferian; see per-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.