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

People want gas on Friday before their weekend errands or adventures. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "A Reminder: Always Buy Gas on Mondays," 9 Apr. 2019 The relaxed sweater is perfect for lounging around the house, running errands, or hanging out with friends and family. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Pinterest Says Popcorn Sweaters Are the Biggest Trend This Christmas," 7 Dec. 2018 Simply walking more — while commuting, running errands, in a meeting, or on the phone — counts for a lot. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Americans sit too much. Standing desks aren’t going to fix the problem.," 20 Nov. 2018 Neilia was taking their three children—Beau, three; Hunter, two; and Naomi, just thirteen months—on some holiday errands. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "Things My Father Taught Me: An Interview with Joe and Hunter Biden," 18 May 2016 Forbes’s swamped bureau reporters could offer only token help to a 23-year-old greenhorn on what many regarded as a fool’s errand. Jonathan Greenberg, Town & Country, "How to Get a Spot Among the Billionaires on the Forbes 400 List," 15 Jan. 2019 Yet, even long before streaming complicated the mathematics, accurately determining a record’s sales was something of a fool’s errand. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Report: Trump tabloid pal cut deal with feds," 24 Aug. 2018 September 2010 Just one month after their breakup, the couple is seen running errands together in LA, suggesting the two are back together. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Relationship," 27 Dec. 2018 According to a probable cause statement, Hidalgo was watching his son and another child while the boy's mother left the apartment to run some errands. Fox News, "Utah man arrested in stabbing death of 10-month-old son," 22 July 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near errand





errand boy



Statistics for errand

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for errand

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on errand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with errand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for errand

Spanish Central: Translation of errand

Nglish: Translation of errand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of errand for Arabic Speakers

Comments on errand

What made you want to look up errand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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