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 McClain, a massage therapist who suffered with anemia, had been reportedly donning a ski mask while on an errand to a local convenience store to protect his face. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Renewed Interest In Police-Involved Death Of 23-Year-Old Elijah McClain," 24 June 2020 Even those who are careful may still pick up a viral infection while doing an essential errand at the grocery store or pharmacy. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, "The strategies to help you build a lower-risk Covid social bubble," 17 June 2020 Chinese managers occasionally ask staff to run errands or do small, personal jobs. The Economist, "Bartleby A guide for foreign workers at Chinese firms," 4 June 2020 This video is either unavailable or not supported in this browser Technical details : A Georgia woman and her brother had an unforgettable encounter while running errands earlier this month. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "“Flying” Turtle Gets Lodged in Georgia Woman’s Windshield," 28 May 2020 Dominic Cummings travelled 250 miles from London to northern England in March after the government stipulated that people should remain at their primary residence, leaving only for essential local errands and exercise, and to not visit relatives. NBC News, "Senior adviser to U.K. PM facing calls to quit after trip during lockdown," 25 May 2020 As some states have begun to slowly ease restrictions on businesses and individuals, the poll finds that 71% of Americans favor requiring people to stay in their homes except for essential errands. Randall Chase And Emily Swanson,, "Poll: Majority disapprove of coronavirus protests," 11 May 2020 The measure was authorized just hours before the country was put on a near-lockdown on Tuesday, with citizens instructed to stay at home unless going out for essential errands or work. Yaacov Benmeleh,, "Israel’s Internal Security Agency to Track Virus Patients," 10 May 2020 Maintaining social distancing while running essential errands has been a top request of public health experts working to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Japanese mayor criticized after suggesting only men should grocery shop because women take too long," 24 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for errand

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for errand

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Errand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for errand


How to pronounce errand (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for errand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with errand

Spanish Central: Translation of errand

Nglish: Translation of errand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of errand for Arabic Speakers

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