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

On Thursday, 2-year-old Kayden Stuber and his grandmother Bekki Gunter returned to their Greenville, S.C., home after running errands. Elaine Aradillas,, "2-Year-Old S.C. Boy Fatally Shoots Himself With Gun He Took From Grandmother’s Purse," 24 June 2019 Once, during the exile, a teenage Javed had snuck back to Kabul on an errand. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 There's something nice about just coexisting — just to be with her, take her on errands. Jenny Allen, Good Housekeeping, "Between Friends," 7 July 2010 Herman Turner, 50, had taken the day off work to run errands. Jennifer Emily, Dallas News, "Gunman shot dead after opening fire on federal courthouse in downtown Dallas," 17 June 2019 Instead of waiting in an uncomfortable chair, the customer can run errands, go to work or do literally anything else. Jackie Borchardt,, "Hate waiting in line at the Ohio BMV? There's an app for that.," 17 June 2019 Winter weekends are for errand running, couch lounging, and not a whole lot else. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "The Coolest Weekend Sweats and Sneakers Are Now on Sale," 3 Feb. 2018 She's worn the line's products before—to run errands, to shop with her kids, to work out... Glamour, "Jennifer Lopez Wore a $46 Matching Set With a $3,000 Coat," 3 May 2019 In 2019, reviving a couture house in its original form is a fool’s errand. Monica Kim, Vogue, "How an Italian-French Duo Is Bringing a Roman Couturier Into the 21st Century," 11 Mar. 2019

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

10 Jul 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).


something desired as essential

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