cou·​ri·​er | \ˈku̇r-ē-ər, 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

Some of these serve couriers working in the gig economy. The Economist, "How two-wheelers are weaving their way into urban transport," 21 June 2018 Caviar currently pays couriers once a week by depositing money in their bank accounts. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Caviar drivers can now get paid instantly through Square’s Cash App," 14 June 2018 The dossier and its related dirt was on a circular flight path aboard a courier service called air Clinton, and the FBI kept signing for the packages. Fox News, "Rudy Giuliani: Strzok's defense is ridiculous, pathetic," 13 July 2018 When a home health care aide wanted to bail her son in New York City, she was charged $1,000 to have a courier walk her money a few blocks to the courthouse. Jessica Silver-greenberg And Shaila Dewan,, "When freedom feels like extortion: bail industry accused of exploiting poor clients," 31 Mar. 2018 Tundj Hata is the courier who brings the head across the hinterlands of the empire and secretly lines his pockets by showing it off to villagers en route: The head was establishing its rapport with the crowd. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Ismail Kadare: The Conscience of His People," 15 June 2018 Customers then pay with their Amazon Prime account and a courier will deliver the items at the time requested. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Amazon will now deliver beer and wine almost immediately in Houston," 20 June 2018 Sparrow’s couriers mostly deliver food and legal documents. Thomas Fox Parry, The Atlantic, "The Death of a Gig Worker," 1 June 2018 For more than 20 years, Imhoff and his group have returned to the cemetery to honor the teenage newspaper couriers each Fourth of July. Colin Campbell,, "'Remember their service': A Fourth of July toast to the Evening Sun Newsboys' Band — and The Capital Gazette," 4 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near courier







Courland Lagoon

Statistics for courier

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for courier

The first known use of courier was in 1579

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More Definitions for courier



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.

: 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, 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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playful or foolish behavior

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