convey

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Old French conveier (French convoyer), from Vulgar Latin convio, from Classical Latin via (way). Compare convoy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

convey (third-person singular simple present conveys, present participle conveying, simple past and past participle conveyed)

  1. To move (something) from one place to another.
    Air conveys sound. Water is conveyed through the pipe.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, 1 Kings 5:8-9,[1]
      [] I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there []
    • 1858, Henry Gray, London: John W. Parker & Son, “Female Organs of Generation,” p. 688,[2]
      The Fallopian Tubes, or oviducts, convey the ova from the ovaries to the cavity of the uterus.
  2. (dated) To take or carry (someone) from one place to another.
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, Richard II, Act II, Scene 1,[3]
      Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
      Love they to live that love and honour have.
    • 1717, Samuel Croxall (translator), Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Fifteen Books, Translated by the Most Eminent Hands, London: Jacob Tonson, Book the Sixth, p. 200,[4]
      [] the false Tyrant seiz’d the Princely Maid,
      And to a Lodge in distant Woods convey’d;
    • 1817, Jane Austen, Persuasion, Chapter 19,[5]
      It began to rain, not much, but enough to make shelter desirable for women, and quite enough to make it very desirable for Miss Elliot to have the advantage of being conveyed home in Lady Dalrymple’s carriage, which was seen waiting at a little distance []
  3. To communicate; to make known; to portray.
    to convey an impression; to convey information
    • 1690, John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, London: Thomas Basset, Book III, Chapter 9, p. 232,[6]
      To make Words serviceable to the end of Communication is necessary [] that they excite, in the Hearer, exactly the same Idea they stand for, in the Mind of the Speaker: Without this, Men fill one another’s Heads with noise and sounds; but convey not thereby their Thoughts, and lay not before one another their Ideas, which is the end of Discourse and Language.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Dublin: John Smith, Volume 2, Book 7, Chapter 6, p. 27,[7]
      This excellent Method of conveying a Falshood with the Heart only, without making the Tongue guilty of an Untruth, by the Means of Equivocation and Imposture, hath quieted the Conscience of many a notable Deceiver []
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, Chapter 3,[8]
      I am afraid I cannot convey the peculiar sensations of time travelling.
    • 1927, Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, Chapter 1,[9]
      To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy, as if it were settled, the expedition were bound to take place, and the wonder to which he had looked forward, for years and years it seemed, was, after a night’s darkness and a day’s sail, within touch.
  4. (law) To transfer legal rights (to).
    He conveyed ownership of the company to his daughter.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, A View of the Present State of Ireland, Dublin, The Hibernia Press, 1809, p. 42,[10]
      [] before his breaking forth into open rebellion, [the Earle of Desmond] had conveyed secretly all his lands to feoffees of trust, in hope to have cut off her Maiestie from the escheate of his lands.
  5. (obsolete) To manage with privacy; to carry out.
    • 1557, uncredited translator, A Mery Dialogue by Erasmus, London: Antony Kytson,[11]
      I shall so conuey my matters, that he shall dysclose all together hym selfe, what busynesse is betwene you []
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act I, Scene 2,[12]
      I will seek him, sir, presently; convey the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.
  6. (obsolete) To carry or take away secretly; to steal; to thieve.
    • 1592, Robert Greene, A Disputation betweene a Hee Conny-Catcher and a Shee Conny-Catcher, London: T. Gubbin,
      Suppose you are good at the lift, who be more cunning then we women, in that we are more trusted, for they little suspect vs, and we haue as close conueyance as you men, though you haue Cloakes, we haue skirts of gownes, handbaskets, the crownes of our hattes, our plackardes, and for a need, false bagges vnder our smockes, wherein we can conuey more closely then you.

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