One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A light rowing boat used chiefly for carrying passengers.
- ‘Successive displays chronicle the Greek trireme, perhaps the ultimate statement of rowing power, the Venetian gondola, the Thames wherry, wooden-hulled lifeboats and arctic whaleboats.’
- ‘On Sunday 2 June, the wherry Albion will carry the original Millennium flame from where it has been carefully kept alight, in Great Yarmouth's St Nicholas Church.’
- ‘Far more satisfying, however, was picking off the slower vessels that had started before us: the lumbering dories, skiffs, and wherries.’
- ‘After that, at five-minute intervals, came waves of increasingly speedy fixed-seat rowing craft - home-built plywood skiffs, rugged surf boats, fragile wherries, multi-oared gigs.’
- 1.1British A large light barge.
Late Middle English: of unknown origin.
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