Definition of transfer in English:



  • 1Move from one place to another.

    [with object] ‘he would have to transfer money to his own account’
    [no object] ‘I went to sleep on the couch before transferring to my bedroom later in the night’
    • ‘For immunoblots, proteins were transferred electrophoretically to nitrocellulose and resulting replicas were probed with antibodies.’
    • ‘On all four occasions, patients were transferred to other hospitals in the city.’
    • ‘Her friend Mandy used to support Leeds but has transferred her loyalties to Scarborough after moving to the resort from Hull.’
    • ‘Finally, if you need a blood transfusion (when donated blood is transferred into your body), you may need a blood test to check what blood group you are.’
    • ‘Two to three embryos are routinely transferred to the uterus.’
    • ‘I was simply transferring all the available funds to Beirut to take advantage of the interest rates there.’
    • ‘A 54-year-old white male patient was transferred to our hospital for worsening pneumonia.’
    • ‘The money was subsequently transferred into the province's student loan fund.’
    • ‘Otherwise, the grease and dirt on the gloves transfers to the couch or clothing.’
    • ‘Here's the trick: several card companies allow you to make balance transfers directly into your bank account.’
    • ‘Work has been transferred to Scotland in a move which will see a small number of jobs created and add around £400,000 to group turnover.’
    • ‘Fresh questions have been raised about whether BSE can pass to sheep after officials confirmed they had transferred the disease to an animal considered the most resistant.’
    • ‘We will find all the voter registration forms transferred by the centre and pass them to the police for investigation.’
    • ‘The seedlings are then individually transferred to tubes containing nutrient solutions adulterated with different concentrations of lead.’
    • ‘When I moved a few weeks ago I transferred the drawers to the top of the new desk, since I don't have drawers at the new place.’
    • ‘At ten I transferred myself from the couch to the bed.’
    • ‘Then transfer all the money to that fund.’
    • ‘She was then transferred by ambulance to the Balfour Hospital.’
    • ‘The money is transferred immediately from your account to the seller's.’
    • ‘Larvae were collected, counted, and transferred to a new food vial.’
    move, convey, shift, remove, take, carry, fetch, lift, bring, bear, conduct, send, pass on, transport, relay, change, relocate, resettle, transplant, uproot
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Move to another group, occupation, or service.
      [no object] ‘she transferred to the Physics Department’
      [with object] ‘employees have been transferred to the installation team’
      • ‘For a two-year period, he worked in the old force control room before moving to Kendal traffic department, later transferring to the North and West Traffic Unit.’
      • ‘A further 140 jobs are being transferred from the Department of Agriculture in Dublin to Claremorris.’
      • ‘Reshuffling the department by transferring teachers to other position will not be of great help to our learners.’
      • ‘Given the turnover of council staff he said he would be surprised if there were compulsory redundancies, although some staff may transfer departments.’
      • ‘Where is the evidence that transferring the department to the Ministry of Justice will overcome whatever the problems were?’
      • ‘My dad's an engineer and the company he worked for was transferring him to a different branch in Chicago.’
      • ‘As all of the civil servants have been transferred to other departments there was no one to make the tea, so I had to do it.’
      • ‘The Public and Commercial Services Union has agreed to represent the men to try to stop the department's plans to transfer their jobs to the private sector.’
      • ‘The New Zealand Forest Service has been totally changed with some functions being transferred to the Department of Conservation and the sale of cutting rights for a number of forests.’
      • ‘Those departments have been transferred from the company's existing offices in Sandbach, Cheshire.’
      • ‘In the spring of 1957, he was transferred to the editorial department, where he was involved in editing ‘Chili’.’
      • ‘Many major departments would be transferred to St Helier Hospital.’
      • ‘This figure included some 30,000 new employees - including teachers - who had been transferred from central government departments.’
      • ‘After turning 17, he will be transferred to an adult Department of Corrections facility, to serve the remainder of his 30-year sentence.’
      • ‘He said 140 personnel from his department will have transferred to Killarney by the early part of next year.’
      • ‘Eight months after transferring from the Department of Health, he spends a lot of his time not talking about Enterprise.’
      • ‘There is an established practice of civil servants transferring between departments to gain experience and this was facilitated by the clerical and administrative nature of their work.’
      • ‘Every time you transfer to a different facility, you'll need to learn massive amounts of information unique to that site in order to qualify at that particular facility.’
      • ‘He is demanding that the 170,000 federal employees being transferred into the new department lose both their civil service protection and union representation.’
      • ‘This time, though, it turned out that the person I'd been dealing with for the last year had transferred to another branch.’
    2. 1.2[no object]Enroll in a different school or college.
      ‘Ron transferred to the University of Idaho’
      • ‘She transferred into Mississippi College for Women in 1968, and never looked back.’
      • ‘Upon transferring to community college, Cassie joined the computer club.’
      • ‘After two years of junior college, I transferred to UCLA, where I intended to study theatre arts and become a screenwriter.’
      • ‘It said she had been transferred to two different schools before arriving to Claymore High for fighting without reason.’
      • ‘If expanding your network of contacts doesn't work, you may want to transfer to a different college.’
      • ‘So he transferred to Birmingham-Southern College, got a degree in political science and got married.’
      • ‘They transferred this to college and it works really well.’
      • ‘Luckily, she transferred to a different school because Andy felt like getting a restraining order.’
      • ‘This includes those who began at a community college and transferred to a four-year school.’
      • ‘‘She is transferring to a college in the east, so we would be parting anyway,’ he replied monotonously.’
      • ‘It's not like this is my first job, and yet, I feel like an awkward geeky, loser who's just transferred from a different junior high school.’
      • ‘I got a scholarship to UC Berkeley where I transferred from community college as a junior.’
      • ‘After we got married I transferred colleges and got my degree.’
      • ‘Being transferred to a different school just because she had been in a few fights had not been a great part of her life.’
      • ‘Ad I went to two years in college in Portland and transferred schools down here and went to Loyola and Mary Mount University for a couple semesters.’
      • ‘She is forced to transfer to a different school.’
      • ‘I could be transferred to a totally different school.’
    3. 1.3(in professional sports) move or cause to move to another team.
      [no object] ‘he transferred to the Dodgers’
      [with object] ‘when a player is transferred to the minors by a major league club’
      • ‘While State authorities still cap players' salaries and have the final say on who can be transferred abroad, corporate-sponsored teams have rebuilt Chinese soccer.’
      • ‘These reasons could be anything from slating off other players to transfer rumours to their personal lives, but the fact is that they are the ones mostly in the limelight.’
      • ‘If he no longer has a key role on the team, then the club should allow him to transfer out to a side that will allow him to continue to display his awesome talents.’
      • ‘I agree the current players shouldn't be punished; let them transfer without having to sit out a year.’
      • ‘The former Kentucky center, who was booted off the team because he never returned from Christmas break, is transferring to Louisville.’
      • ‘An athlete who transfers and sits out a year as required by NCAA rules does so by choice.’
      • ‘An example is the football club - you have players who if you transferred them all, you would have nothing on the field.’
      • ‘It drives transfer markets, makes football a viable business and keeps teams fresh.’
      • ‘Rumors were rampant that he had quit the team and might transfer to Ohio State, where he had made a recruiting visit.’
      • ‘United also revealed that it had paid a total of £5.5m to footballers' agents involved in player transfers over the past 12 months.’
      • ‘But three players transferred.’
      • ‘Even larger amounts change hands when a star player is transferred from one club to another.’
      • ‘He moved over to St. Louis in 1899 when the owner of the two teams transferred his best players to the Cardinals.’
      • ‘The club's chairman has also said that high-earning players who are not playing or performing for the first team will be transferred.’
      • ‘I don't know what goes on in the world of football transfers these days.’
    4. 1.4Redirect (a telephone call) to another line or extension.
      • ‘Eric heard a click as Haylie transferred the line.’
      • ‘Patient calls are seamlessly transferred among the different facilities.’
      • ‘She asked if I would like to be transferred to the phone department to talk to someone about the phone charges that are wrong.’
      • ‘The line was transferred to the man's office and he picked up as Vincent greeted, ‘Hey, Lionel.’’
    5. 1.5[with object]Copy (a drawing or design) from one surface to another.
      • ‘Students use their previously prepared drawings to transfer their images to the leather-hard clay planter.’
      • ‘Use a black, fine-tip, permanent marker to transfer the design.’
      • ‘The drawing is transferred by tracing over the drawing while pressing firmly with a ballpoint pen.’
      • ‘Using screen prints and stencils, images are transferred to stickers and stuck in clusters on newspaper boxes.’
      • ‘This method of enlargement has been used for hundreds of years when artists needed to transfer sketch designs to large walls for painting murals.’
      • ‘After carefully measuring and arranging their designs, the students began the process of transferring their sketches to the black background.’
      • ‘In a busy artist's workshop, the job of transferring the master's design to the support may well have been delegated to assistants.’
      • ‘‘I create them by freehand before transferring the designs to a computer,’ he said.’
      • ‘They could use a light table or put graphite on the back of the newsprint to transfer the drawings to the good paper.’
      • ‘The images were transferred lithographically or hand-painted on to glass using transparent pigments and then issued in sets of eight or twelve.’
      • ‘Additionally, an artist or publisher who transfers an artwork by a license can also retain greater control over the way it is marketed.’
      • ‘Yet once the drawings are transferred to sheets of Mylar or aluminum panels, she carefully fills their contours with enamel paint.’
      • ‘To transfer the designs, students used a barren or wooden spoon, and applied consistent pressure to the entire surface.’
      • ‘In the photogravure process, the image is photochemically transferred to an etching plate that has been coated with a light-sensitive emulsion.’
      • ‘He then turned his paper over, before placing it on the canvas and applying powdered chalk to transfer the design to the surface beneath.’
      • ‘All the paper drawings were then transferred to animation cells in the traditional way.’
      • ‘At least one court case has found that transferring an artwork without obtaining the artist's permission is an infringement on that artist's copyright.’
      • ‘Rub the back of the paper with the side of the pencil to transfer the drawing onto the eraser.’
      • ‘This is a technique for producing pictures by transferring an image from one surface to another.’
      • ‘This plan allows you to correctly transfer your design to your floor so you won't have your centered design off in the corner.’
    6. 1.6[with object]Copy (data, music, etc.) from one medium or device to another.
      ‘you can easily transfer your personal data to another PC using the export feature’
  • 2[no object] Change to another place, route, or means of transportation during a journey.

    ‘John advised him to transfer from Rome airport to the railroad station’
    • ‘At one point I transferred to another bus and had to stand at a stop for about 15 minutes.’
    • ‘It means rail passengers will no longer have to transfer to buses for journeys around Stockport.’
    • ‘A few minutes later, the bus arrives at the location where I need to transfer to another route.’
    • ‘They escaped in a stolen car driven by a third man which was waiting on South King Street and the gang then transferred to another stolen car which was later found abandoned in Salford.’
    • ‘Another key dislike is transferring, they like a direct journey, really they want to get from A to B as quickly and as easily as possible.’
  • 3[with object] Make over the possession of (property, a right, or a responsibility) to someone else.

    • ‘The seller transfers the property to a nominee who holds it in trust for the seller, who then in effect sells his rights under the trust, thus avoiding duty completely.’
    • ‘Moreover, one party cannot simply extinguish its responsibility by transferring custody to another.’
    • ‘Nor was the purpose of the original grants of immunity to delegate power, but rather to transfer certain responsibilities to an intermediary.’
    • ‘While use rights in livestock are transferred frequently, ownership rights are predominantly transferred after the death of a herd owner.’
    • ‘In effect, it would mean transferring responsibility from the county secretary.’
    • ‘Eight congregations had yet to transfer property to the State when the deal was signed in June, 2002.’
    • ‘Transfer of custody does not transfer responsibility.’
    • ‘In England, married women, children, idiots and distracted persons were prohibited from transferring property out of their estates.’
    • ‘Even if a property is transferred for a value less than prescribed guidance value, the stamp duty are registration are payable as per the guidance value.’
    • ‘On top of this are costs like transfer duties on property, annual administration fees, stamp duties etc.’
    • ‘The radical move forms part of a shake-up in licensing laws which will see the power to grant liquor licences transferred from magistrates to local authorities.’
    • ‘The certificate is not a document of title and its delivery does not transfer any property in the shares covered by it.’
    • ‘Town trusts were set up in the 1800s to protect people from corrupt boroughs but many transferred their responsibilities after parish and town councils were established in 1894.’
    • ‘The call comes as new licensing laws transferring responsibility for issuing licences from magistrates to the council came into force this week.’
    • ‘Congress has passed a bill transferring jurisdiction of the case to a federal court, and the President has signed it into law.’
    • ‘Confiscation will also be possible even if the property has passed to legal heirs, or if it was transferred to a spouse or a separate legal entity.’
    • ‘First, property rights were transferred from advanced cooperatives to the commune, further centralizing ownership.’
    • ‘This liability is essentially your brother's, and is due irrespective of who he transfers the property to.’
    • ‘The Government wants to transfer the onus of responsibility but without giving any remuneration for the costs associated with it.’
    • ‘Local and state legislatures eagerly read the Court's decision as an invitation to transfer other people's property to private developers.’
    hand over, pass on, make over, turn over, sign over, transmit, convey, consign, commit, devolve, assign, cede, surrender, relinquish, delegate, entrust, grant, give, refer
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  • 4[with object] Change (the sense of a word or phrase) by extension or metaphor.

    ‘a transferred use of the Old English noun’
    • ‘Only later was the word transferred to the thing being manipulated to give us the modern sense.’
    • ‘Because the different strands of Victorian intellectual life were so interconnected, metaphors were constantly transferred from one to another.’
    • ‘Quite different is the Chinese term ‘scorch heart’, which transfers the metaphor of heat to the domain of worry.’
    • ‘This is a transferred usage, from the start, which does not at all minimize the systematic weight attached to it.’
    • ‘I am a lapsed Catholic and have no doubt transferred that sense of scripture from the Bible to poetry.’


  • 1An act of moving something or someone to another place.

    ‘a transfer of wealth to the poorer nations’
    ‘she was going to ask her boss for a transfer to the city’
    ‘a patient had died after transfer from the County Hospital to St. Peter's’
    • ‘There is a mandatory 10-day waiting period to allow for the possibility of a transfer to another hospital, to allow for a trip to the court house.’
    • ‘And, despite the newly deflated estimates of the wealth transfer, businesses are still vying to help Boomers spend their parents' money.’
    • ‘That, however, is regarded as a radical solution, since it would erode the value of savings and amount to a huge transfer of wealth to borrowers.’
    • ‘Property booms, like any booms, are nothing more than a transfer of wealth from one section of society to another.’
    • ‘Not only does that entail a transfer of wealth from cities to suburbs, it also means that services are not supplied where they are most valued.’
    • ‘Though ghost stories of the Kakaako Fire Stations have thrived, it has not prompted firefighters to request a transfer to another station.’
    • ‘Booms are almost by definition a huge transfer of wealth from one section of the population to another leaving many in the lurch.’
    • ‘Are transfers of wealth to Third World governments really an aid to economic development?’
    • ‘The prisoner walked out of HMP Kirkham open prison within hours of his transfer from a secure unit.’
    • ‘The use of a systematic clinical protocol reduced hospital costs and length of stay and improved transfer of patients within the hospital.’
    • ‘Even with the lowered estimate of the wealth transfer, no one denies that more than $1 trillion will still end up in Boomer pockets over the next decade.’
    • ‘It engineered a net transfer of wealth, at an increasing rate, from the poor countries to the rich, making the former poorer and the latter richer.’
    • ‘A transfer of authority to another body lessens our own Government's sovereignty and the ability to determine domestic standards and conformance.’
    • ‘The direct transfer of wealth and material from conquered peoples, as practised by the Romans, the British, and even the Russians after 1945, just hasn't happened.’
    • ‘One tool might be to authorize interbasin transfers, moving water from one basin to another.’
    • ‘First, speculative activity behaves like a pendulum involving a transfer of wealth from one section of the population to another.’
    • ‘Gift economies are not so much exchanges between two agents as they are transfers, the sheer moving of stuff through webs of human relations.’
    • ‘Teachers claim the transfers are designed to divert attention from the shortage of trained teachers in the system.’
    • ‘Tara said she would arrange the transfer to another account but she did not do this.’
    • ‘Yet after nearly 100 years of this, and massive transfers of wealth from earners to takers, the arguments are still the same.’
    movement, move, moving, shifting, shift, handover, relocation, repositioning, transplant, redirection, conveyance, transferral, transference, removal, change, changeover, switch, conversion
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    1. 1.1British An act of selling or moving an athlete to another team.
      ‘his transfer from Rangers cost £800,000’
    2. 1.2A student who has enrolled in a different school or college.
      • ‘Although these campuses are excited about their four-year status, both have a primary goal of serving transfer students from community colleges.’
      • ‘The pressure on colleges and universities to adopt standard formulas for transferring credits has grown in recent years along with the number of transfer students.’
      • ‘The next closest junior high schools are not far away, in the next town over, but the new law doesn't require schools to accept transfer students from other districts.’
      • ‘Concerns have been raised about whether colleges should accept degree completer reverse transfer students.’
      • ‘But studies prove that college transfer students do as well in ongoing academic work and in future careers as their direct-entry to university counterparts.’
      • ‘What do you think of me, a pathetic little transfer student!’
      • ‘Four-year institutions should combine efforts with community colleges to meet the needs of likely reverse transfer students.’
      • ‘However, there can be no doubt that diminished enrollment in the community colleges reduced the transfer student pipeline.’
      • ‘Are the grades of community college transfer students in upper division course work lower than those of native students?’
      • ‘For example, the existence of the transfer agreement makes it simple for students before and after transfer.’
      • ‘She is in charge of transfer and international students.’
      • ‘It is true that community college transfer students experience transfer shock upon entering the university environment.’
      • ‘Among today's undergraduates, student transfer occurs in all directions.’
      • ‘Allison had noticed the dark-haired new transfer student that morning, but other than that hadn't paid too much attention to her.’
      • ‘Also, when meeting with potential transfer students a prepared articulation course guide for that college is useful.’
      • ‘Community college transfer students tended to be much older.’
      • ‘And then there's that Chinese transfer student, who was a genius; a hot genius.’
      • ‘The federal government currently does not count transfer students in the official graduation rates of colleges and universities.’
      • ‘Those who do so are known as reverse transfer students or ‘drop-downs’.’
      • ‘However, reverse transfer students have impacted this educational door.’
    3. 1.3A conveyance of property, especially stocks, from one person to another.
      • ‘Their effect is the early transfer of jurisdiction for management of such cases from magistrates to the Crown Court.’
      • ‘In a marriage breakdown, tie up property transfers by deed of separation/divorce which is confirmed by court decree.’
      • ‘In other words, it lays the legal foundations for the privatization of the country's oil wealth and its transfer to US-based energy conglomerates.’
      • ‘Gifts to the university come to us as cash, stock transfers, property, pledges to be paid over time, wills, estates, trusts and life insurance policies.’
      • ‘It was also intended that, after the transfer of the properties, the new owner would manage the whole portfolio.’
      • ‘Article 14 also contains provisions as to what should happen if the transferor defaults in executing a transfer of his shares.’
      • ‘After a period of time, the contract will be performed or completed by the transfer or conveyance of the legal estate by the vendor to the purchaser.’
      • ‘It is submitted that these transfers are fraudulent conveyances.’
      • ‘But thereafter further share transfers were not registered in the register of members.’
      • ‘Whether the same applies to transfers of company property by the controllers in order to put it out of the reach of creditors, in circumstances of actual or pending insolvency, remains doubtful.’
      • ‘What would have been a reasonable time for registration of the share transfers?’
      • ‘Both parties shall execute all property transfers and documents reasonably necessary to fully effect the sale closing, failing which the court may be spoken to for directions.’
      • ‘‘Conveyance’ being the transfer of property from the conveyor to the purchaser.’
      • ‘If your Honour looks to the instrument of conveyance, the transfer, it is an unqualified transfer of the unencumbered fee simple.’
      • ‘In many, if not most, cases, the charge itself will have been executed before the execution, let alone the exchange, of the conveyance or transfer of the property.’
      • ‘The question here is whether a transfer of property that extinguishes the trust by merging the beneficial and legal interest can in any sense be said to retire a trustee.’
      • ‘The simplest answer is that at key points in our history, forced transfers of property have been perceived to be the best solution to particular social problems.’
      • ‘In addition, the trust must be constituted by the transfer of property to the trustee, which the Trustee maintains has not occurred.’
      • ‘The second case concerned property or capital transfers made before the 1991 Act came into force.’
      • ‘Like capital acquisitions tax, all transfers of property under documents between spouses are exempt from stamp duty.’
      conveyance, transfer document
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4The action of copying data from one medium or device to another.
  • 2A small colored picture or design on paper that can be transferred to another surface by being pressed or heated.

    ‘T-shirts with iron-on transfers’
    • ‘It's easier to use, is more consistent and has a larger surface for bigger transfers.’
    • ‘Two of the items purchased include iron-on transfers.’
    • ‘You have a hoop, needle, iron-on transfers and skeins of embroidery floss.’
    • ‘Assorted paint sets are available with projects or iron-on transfers.’
    • ‘Once the paper is removed, wipe away the backing residue from the transfer with a paper towel.’
    • ‘They did a fine job with the transfer, as the picture is clear and crisp.’
    • ‘To offer no extras seems a crime but I'll settle for the gorgeous transfer and original anamorphic aspect ratio.’
    • ‘A local company came to the rescue with a brilliant way of putting our designs on to their computer and producing huge transfers which could be stuck straight on to the caravan.’
    • ‘You can stencil, stamp, use an iron-on transfer or freehand a design.’
    • ‘On one side of the cloth are transfers of photos and newspaper cuttings and on the reverse I wrote this poem.’
  • 3An act of changing to another place, route, or means of transportation during a journey.

    ‘it took three hours and several bus transfers to get there’
    • ‘At Dave's request, the station dispatcher routed us to the track adjacent to the Lake Shore to enable a simple cross-platform transfer for this lady.’
    • ‘This transfer would delay the latter train a few minutes, long enough for us to make our transfer.’
    • ‘The transfer was missed since the train was running late.’
    • ‘There is still one transfer a day between Lambton and Toronto Yard, handling local traffic for as far west as Streetsville and Guelph Junction!’
    • ‘Base fare on the line is $1.75, but with the unlimited transfers one can feel they got their money's worth.’
    • ‘This line would afford our group a convenient transfer to the Flushing end of the 7 line.’
    • ‘The station was recently rebuilt, and we found that the transfer between directions is within the paid area of the station.’
    • ‘When we are in town in July, this transfer will be made on a weekday, so we will have better access to the station.’
    • ‘With a single fare card, it is also easy to encourage using public transport by introducing rebates for intermodal transfer.’
    • ‘The business folks had shared $80 cab rides from the Miami Metrorail transfer to West Palm Beach.’
    • ‘Hopefully he caught the right subway trains, made his transfer, and got to the station with enough time to catch his Metro North train home.’
    • ‘Despite bursts of slow running south of Fort Lauderdale we arrived at the Miami Metrorail transfer only 7 minutes late.’
    • ‘The shortage of sheltered safe berthing forces commercial craft to moor off in stormy conditions with potentially hazardous transfers in open boats.’
    • ‘Just north of the Metrorail transfer station we passed Amtrak's yards and Miami area station on the left.’
    • ‘It was possible to get to Smyrna by bus but it would take several transfers one of which would be to another county's bus system.’
    • ‘Warwick station is a major park-and-ride, bus transfer and walk-on station.’
    • ‘I have never read anything about transfers being available.’
    • ‘The airline's situation deteriorated further following its costly transfer to the new Athens-Spata International Airport.’
    • ‘Our trip was several minutes to Jackson, where we detrained for our transfer.’
    • ‘Waldorf Transfer Co. was a small, local contractor in Hamilton, Ontario that provided baggage transfer between various stations.’
    1. 3.1North American A ticket allowing a passenger to change from one public transportation vehicle to another as part of a single journey.
      • ‘Passengers can ask for a transfer ticket when they board the bus.’
      • ‘The new system will feature magnetic FareSaver tickets and ticket transfers which passengers will be able to insert into digital fare boxes on buses.’
      • ‘Twenty stations and unlimited transfers allow riders to move easily from one line to another, and one fare takes them nearly anywhere in the metropolitan region.’
      • ‘The timetables should offer frequent services with common minimum standards across the whole city, and fares should allow for free transfers.’
      • ‘This guy killed a bus driver over a bus transfer ticket.’
      • ‘The metro system in the reference design is very cunning: there are only three lines, and everything is reachable with a single transfer.’


Late Middle English (as a verb): from French transférer or Latin transferre, from trans- across + ferre to bear The earliest use of the noun (late 17th century) was as a legal term in the sense conveyance of property.