cou·​ri·​er | \ ˈku̇r-ē-ər How to pronounce courier (audio) , ˈkər-ē-, ˈkə-rē- \

Definition of courier

1 : messenger: such as
a : a member of a diplomatic (see diplomatic sense 2) service entrusted with bearing messages
b(1) : an espionage agent transferring secret information
(2) : a runner of contraband (see contraband sense 2) drug couriers
c : a member of the armed services whose duties include carrying mail, information, or supplies
2 : a traveler's paid attendant especially : a tourists' guide employed by a travel agency

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Examples of courier in a Sentence

Police recently arrested a drug courier in our neighborhood. The documents were sent by overnight courier.
Recent Examples on the Web Her latest film, The Courier, has her playing an ex-soldier turned courier who’s forced to utilize her combat skills once a delivery goes awry. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Olga Kurylenko Won 'Bond' and Narrowly Lost 'Wonder Woman'," 8 Dec. 2019 The New York Times reported that the initial tip about al-Baghdadi’s location came in the summer, following the arrest of one of his couriers and one of his wives. Eli Lake, Twin Cities, "Eli Lake: How the Kurds helped in the hunt for Baghdadi," 29 Oct. 2019 The unmanned, airborne courier service is also a leading test case in UPS's transformation strategy under CEO David Abney to incorporate technological innovations more quickly. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "This Drone Delivery Service Was Dreamed Up By a Doctor Who Used to Be a Pilot," 20 Dec. 2019 Uber has more than 4 million drivers and couriers around the globe, and 99 million monthly active consumers on its platform. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Investors aren’t moved by Uber’s shift into banking," 31 Oct. 2019 As goods are ordered from a52’s clients’ websites, they are individually packaged with a mailing label and sent via a courier service like UPS or FedEx across the border to their destination. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "How Trump’s Tariffs Are Creating Jobs — for Canadians," 9 Oct. 2019 And court records detail how the cartel lures those who need money to serve as drug or cash couriers or money launderers. Beth Warren,, "A ruthless Mexican drug lord’s empire is devastating families with its grip on small-town USA," 25 Nov. 2019 Other times, the money was driven back to Oregon through a courier or delivered to a relative of Koplin’s in Georgia, prosecutors said. oregonlive, "Oregon man sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison for brokering out-of-state sale of more than $1.4 million worth of marijuana," 19 Nov. 2019 Support strong local journalism by subscribing today:​​​​​​​. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's Ford production workers reject UAW contract, but it's approved nationwide," 16 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'courier.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of courier

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for courier

borrowed from Middle French corier, courrier, borrowed from Italian corriere, from correre "to run" (going back to Latin currere) + -iere -ier — more at current entry 1

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Time Traveler for courier

Time Traveler

The first known use of courier was in 1579

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Statistics for courier

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Courier.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for courier


How to pronounce courier (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of courier

: a person whose job is to carry messages, packages, etc., from one person or place to another
: a business that is used to send messages, packages, etc.
British : a person who is employed by a travel company and whose job is to help people who are on holiday


cou·​ri·​er | \ ˈku̇r-ē-ər How to pronounce courier (audio) , ˈkər- \

Kids Definition of courier

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More from Merriam-Webster on courier

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for courier

Spanish Central: Translation of courier

Nglish: Translation of courier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of courier for Arabic Speakers

Comments on courier

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to insert between existing elements

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