er·​rand | \ˈer-ənd, ˈe-rənd\

Definition of errand 

1 archaic

a : an oral message entrusted to a person

b : embassy, mission

2a : 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

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

Lately, she's been spotted all over London—from riding her bike to running errands and attending public events—while turning out in a ton of chic maternity looks. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Channeled Another One of Kate's Maternity Looks at Princess Eugenie's Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 Her job tasks included such menial, non-duchessy duties as running errands and bringing tea and snacks to the talent on the set of photo shoots. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Had These Two Very Normal Jobs Before She Became a Royal," 19 Aug. 2018 Now, two months later, the cameras have retreated; the spotlight has dimmed; and driving to run errands or visit family has gone from novelty to normalcy for Saudi women. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Driving On Her Own in Saudi Arabia," 17 Aug. 2018 The officials, who requested anonymity to discuss details of the investigation, say White is alleged to have routinely used her personal staff to run errands, get her laundry, pick up lunch, and help with other appointments. Lolita C. Baldor, The Seattle Times, "Pentagon spokeswoman under inspector general investigation," 14 Aug. 2018 The best kind of coat will take you anywhere—breakfast meetings, errands, evenings out. Vogue, "Max Mara’s Ultra-Cozy Celebrity-Approved Fall Coat," 21 Sep. 2018 Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to work, running errands, and relishing a new era in which they are allowed to drive and no longer need to rely on men to move around. Aya Batrawy, The Christian Science Monitor, "Saudi Arabia’s 'driving ban' is finally lifted," 25 June 2018 The boy had been left home alone when his father went out for errands, CNN reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Man who saved toddler from Paris ledge starts job with fire department," 2 July 2018 Flanna was reportedly omnipresent at the office, frequently demanding help for personal errands and reaching out at odd hours, staffers note. Li Zhou, Vox, "Virginia Republican in Congress accused of using staff as “personal servants”," 25 May 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 1a

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

11 Dec 2018

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 \

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

Spanish Central: Translation of errand

Nglish: Translation of errand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of errand for Arabic Speakers

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