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

Pruitt was accused of spending extravagantly on travel and security, asking aides to run personal errands and accepting favorable terms for the rental of a condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "7 ways Scott Pruitt's legacy at EPA will live on," 6 July 2018 In return for the lessons, young Shaidayi ran small errands for Qandahari’s family, such as buying rice and coal. Maija Liuhto, Longreads, "A Music So Beautiful the Birds Fell from the Trees," 28 June 2018 Depending on Green to scale his play is a fool's errand. Rob Mahoney,, "It's Now or Never for George Hill and the Cavaliers," 6 June 2018 Seniors unable to leave their homes may be matched with a volunteer, who can run small errands or take them out to eat. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Isolated seniors receive help from Meals on Wheels San Antonio," 6 July 2018 Make errands fun Daily life has a host of lessons just waiting to be learned. Zafreen Jaffery, Ed.d., miamiherald, "Bake cookies. Head to the library. Ways to keep your child's brain sharp during the summer," 27 June 2018 In the photo, Pete and Ariana are walking hand-in-hand while running some errands. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Pete Davidson Was Warned By His Tattoo Artist About Ariana Grande," 26 June 2018 In the 2015 Travelers Championship, Casey lost on a second playoff hole to Bubba Watson after an errand shot out of a greenside bunker. William S. Paxton, USA TODAY, "Two years after losing in a playoff, Paul Casey takes lead at Travelers Championship," 23 June 2018 With the detente settled, Lauren goes on a girls day with the ladies of Jersey Shore while Mike goes to run proposal errands with the guys (except for Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, who is too distraught over his own romantic situation to get out of bed)., "Here's Exactly How The Situation Proposed To His Girlfriend On Jersey Shore," 22 June 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



Phrases Related to errand

errand boy

Statistics for errand

Last Updated

2 Oct 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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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 reject or criticize sharply

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