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 Few buildings are allowing couriers into buildings and elevators to do the handoff to their customers. Joanne Kaufman, New York Times, "The Pandemic and Package Overflow," 6 May 2020 The usually bustling store felt almost spacious: three employees worked at set-apart stations, and a private courier stood waiting to get an order into a backpack. The New Yorker, "at the epicenter of the pandemic.," 27 Apr. 2020 In assigning dangerous work — and these days, being a cashier in a grocery store or a delivery courier can qualify — managers might want to consider whether an employee is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Bob Egelko,, "Coronavirus lawsuits are coming to work, as health and privacy collide," 9 Apr. 2020 The hourly median wage for a courier in 2018 was about $13.80, compared to the $18.60 national average. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Delivery is the fastest-growing job industry in the US," 7 Mar. 2020 Sometime in the next day or two, a medical courier will deliver a styrofoam cooler to the offices of AbCellera, a biotech firm headquartered in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Darpa Cranks Up Antibody Research to Stall Coronavirus," 14 Feb. 2020 This month a motorbike courier died after asphyxiating while being arrested in Paris. The Economist, "Brutal facts France admits its police are too violent," 23 Jan. 2020 The office sent a courier to her house to pick up the check. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, "Throat swab leads to $28,865 medical bill," 25 Dec. 2019 Lizzo sparked a backlash by dismissing critics who weren't trained musicians and apologized to a Postmates driver after incorrectly accusing a courier of stealing her food. Gerrick D. Kennedy,, "100% her year: How Lizzo became the one thing we all loved in 2019," 12 Dec. 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

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Courier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 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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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

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