wherry

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

wherry (countable and uncountable, plural wherries)

  1. (countable) A light ship used to navigate inland waterways.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 2:
      O how I should like to see her floating in the water yonder, turban and all, with her train streaming after her, and her nose like the beak of a wherry.
  2. (countable, historical) A flat-bottomed vessel once employed by British merchants, notably in East Anglia, sometimes converted into pleasure boats.
    • 1789, Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
      Here I used to enjoy myself in playing about the bridge stairs, and often in the watermen's wherries, with other boys. On one of these occasions there was another boy with me in a wherry, and we went out into the current of the river: while we were there two more stout boys came to us in another wherry, and, abusing us for taking the boat, desired me to get into the other wherry-boat. Accordingly I went to get out of the wherry I was in; but just as I had got one of my feet into the other boat the boys shoved it off, so that I fell into the Thames; and, not being able to swim, I should unavoidably have been drowned, but for the assistance of some watermen who providentially came to my relief.
    • 1928, Virginia Woolf, Orlando
      The river was astir early and late with barges, wherries, and craft of every description.
  3. A liquor made from the pulp of crab apples after the verjuice is extracted.

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