er·​rand | \ ˈer-ənd How to pronounce errand (audio) , ˈe-rənd \

Definition of errand

1a : a short trip taken to attend to some business often for another was on an errand for his mother
b : the object or purpose of such a trip
2 archaic
a : an oral message entrusted to a person

Examples of errand in a Sentence

He was sent out on an urgent errand. We were there on an errand of mercy to help provide medical care for the refugees.
Recent Examples on the Web With a growing number of two-car households and two-car garages, pickups could work as a second errand-runner next to the family sedan or wagon, said Carlson. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 25 May 2021 Office life may be a culture shock for people now accustomed to running an errand or going for a walk in the middle of the day. Robert Channick,, 14 May 2021 Maybe this is a prime opportunity for your housemates to run an errand. Fortesa Latifi, SELF, 13 Apr. 2021 The 5-7kw range is enough to be expensive, but not enough to give meaningful power during a short errand. Brad Templeton, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2021 The stresses and humiliations complicating what should be a simple errand pile up, pushing him toward a potentially tragic outcome. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2021 Ajay and Marie leave on a mysterious errand, and Charles then is able to question Nadine. Jean Bentley,, 6 Apr. 2021 The Baker Street Irregulars were the street-urchin army of Sherlock Holmes—intelligence agents, errand-runners and the detective’s devoted division of the ragged and filthy. John Anderson, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2021 Someone may reach out a hand in friendship by inviting you along on an errand or local gathering. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 7 Mar. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of errand

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for errand

Middle English erend message, business, from Old English ǣrend; akin to Old High German ārunti message

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About errand

Time Traveler for errand

Time Traveler

The first known use of errand was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for errand

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Errand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for errand



English Language Learners Definition of errand

: a short journey that you take to do or get something


er·​rand | \ ˈer-ənd How to pronounce errand (audio) \

Kids Definition of errand

1 : a short trip made to do or get something
2 : the purpose of a short trip My errand was to get milk.


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!