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. A courier just left a package for you on the porch.
Recent Examples on the Web One courier in Seoul, Kim Dong-hee, returned home at 2 a.m. on Oct. 7. New York Times, "Delivery Workers in South Korea Say They’re Dying of ‘Overwork’," 15 Dec. 2020 Directed by Adam Mason, the film stars Riverdale's KJ Apa as Nico, an immune bike courier in L.A. who wants nothing more than for him and his girlfriend, Sara (Sofia Carson), to escape the confines of the city. Rosie Knight,, "KJ Apa’s New COVID Movie Songbird Is Basically One Long Conspiracy Theory," 14 Dec. 2020 In this bleak and blighted landscape, an L.A. courier named Nico (Apa), who is immune to the disease, attempts to find a way out of the nightmare with his girlfriend, Sara (Sofia Carson), who has been trapped for years in lockdown. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus thriller ‘Songbird’ was filmed during the COVID pandemic. How, and why, they did it," 10 Dec. 2020 Second, the sender never identifies themselves or the courier. Fox 35 News Staff, FOX 35 Orlando, "Don’t open it: Scam text message poses as package delivery notification," 4 Dec. 2020 The courier told its drivers to limit pickups of parcels from those retailers and three others, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. Thomas Black,, "UPS Restricts Some Packages From Nike, Gap Amid Online Rush," 2 Dec. 2020 That means the lab must send samples via courier to outside labs. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "The demand for COVID-19 testing is up across the US, stressing labs and delaying results. Is it a sign of things to come?," 26 Nov. 2020 Before the transfer, a trooper of the Ohio State Highway Patrol stopped the courier’s car. John Caniglia, cleveland, "From Cleveland to Mexico: Authorities help stem the flow of drug profits in arrest of accused money launderer," 25 Nov. 2020 After Janice added the initial 7000 or so miles, Jerry took over the vehicle and used it for his courier business driving around Minnesota delivering medical samples from medical offices to labs. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Imagine Driving 414,000 Miles in a Mitsubishi Mirage in Minnesota. This Couple Did," 1 Dec. 2020

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

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Courier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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