convey vs fetch what difference

what is difference between convey and fetch



From Middle English conveien, from Old French conveier (French French convoyer), from Vulgar Latin *convio, from Classical Latin via (way). Compare convoy.


  • IPA(key): /kənˈveɪ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪ


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.
    • 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.
    • 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.


  • (to move something from one place to another): carry, transport
  • (to take someone from one place to another): accompany, conduct (archaic), escort
  • (to communicate a message): express, send, relay

Derived terms

Related terms

  • convoy




  • (Received Pronunciation, General American) enPR: fĕch, IPA(key): /fɛtʃ/
  • Rhymes: -ɛtʃ

Etymology 1

The verb is derived from Middle English fecchen (to get and bring back, fetch; to come for, get and take away; to steal; to carry away to kill; to search for; to obtain, procure)  [and other forms], from Old English feċċan, fæċċan, feccean (to fetch, bring; to draw; to gain, take; to seek), a variant of fetian, fatian (to bring near, fetch; to acquire, obtain; to bring on, induce; to fetch a wife, marry) and possibly related to Old English facian, fācian (to acquire, obtain; to try to obtain; to get; to get to, reach), both from Proto-Germanic *fatōną, *fatjaną (to hold, seize; to fetch), from Proto-Indo-European *ped- (to step, walk; to fall, stumble). The English word is cognate with Dutch vatten (to apprehend, catch; to grasp; to understand), English fet ((obsolete) to fetch), Faroese fata (to grasp, understand), Swedish fatta (to grasp, understand), German fassen (to catch, grasp; to capture, seize), Icelandic feta (to go, step), West Frisian fetsje (to grasp).

The noun is derived from the verb.


fetch (third-person singular simple present fetches, present participle fetching, simple past and past participle fetched)

  1. To retrieve; to bear towards; to go and get.
    • 1611 King James Bible, 1 Kings xvii. 11, 12
      He called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
    • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
      When they got home, the Rat made a bright fire in the parlour, and planted the Mole in an arm-chair in front of it, having fetched down a dressing-gown and slippers for him, and told him river stories till supper-time.
  2. To obtain as price or equivalent; to sell for.
  3. (nautical) To bring or get within reach by going; to reach; to arrive at; to attain; to reach by sailing.
  4. (intransitive) To bring oneself; to make headway; to veer; as, to fetch about; to fetch to windward.
  5. (rare, literary) To take (a breath), to heave (a sigh)
  6. To cause to come; to bring to a particular state.
    • 1879, William Barnes, A Witch
      They couldn’t fetch the butter in the churn.
  7. (obsolete) To recall from a swoon; to revive; sometimes with to.
  8. To reduce; to throw.
    • 1692, Robert South, sermon 28
      The sudden trip in wrestling that fetches a man to the ground.
  9. (archaic) To accomplish; to achieve; to perform, with certain objects or actions.
    • 1631, Ben Jonsons, Chloridia
      Ixion [] turn’d dancer, does nothing but cut capreols, fetch friskals, and leads lavaltoes
    • 1692, Robert South, sermon 28
      He fetches his blow quick and sure.
  10. (nautical, transitive) To make (a pump) draw water by pouring water into the top and working the handle.


Alternative forms

  • fatch, fotch (dialectal)

Derived terms



fetch (plural fetches)

  1. (also figuratively) An act of fetching, of bringing something from a distance.
    1. (computing, specifically) An act of fetching data.
  2. The object of fetching; the source of an attraction; a force, propensity, or quality which attracts.
  3. A stratagem or trick; an artifice.
    Synonyms: contrivance, dodge
    • 1665, Robert South, “Jesus of Nazareth proved the true and only promised Messiah”, in Twelve Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions, Volume 3, 6th Edition, 1727:
      Every little fetch of wit and criticism.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 29:
      And as to your cant of living single, nobody will believe you. This is one of your fetches to avoid complying with your duty […].



  1. (Utah) Minced oath for fuck
  • 20 Things Only Utahns Will Understand And Appreciate

Etymology 2

Origin uncertain; the following possibilities have been suggested:

  • From fetch-life ((obsolete, rare) a deity, spirit, etc., who guides the soul of a dead person to the afterlife; a psychopomp).
  • From the supposed Old English *fæcce (evil spirit formerly thought to sit on the chest of a sleeping person; a mare).
  • From Old Irish fáith (seer, soothsayer).


fetch (plural fetches)

  1. (originally Ireland, dialectal) The apparition of a living person; a person’s double, the sight of which is supposedly a sign that they are fated to die soon, a doppelganger; a wraith (a person’s likeness seen just after their death; a ghost, a spectre). [from 18th c.]

Derived terms

  • fetch candle



Further reading

  • fetch (folklore) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • fetch (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia


  • Fecht

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