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 No Way Home star's younger brother, Harry Holland, also joined the pair for the errand. Nicholas Rice,, 21 July 2022 The victim’s wife returned from an errand and found his body at the bottom of a staircase. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 June 2022 She could never be left there without someone, even if her mom was only leaving for a five-minute errand. John Woodrow Cox, Anchorage Daily News, 28 May 2022 There is something so comforting in a large dog sitting by your front door, waiting for their mom or dad to return home from work or running an errand. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 24 July 2022 Evan Greer, director of Fight for the Future, a digital rights nonprofit advocacy group, said that trying to stomp out specific words on platforms is a fool's errand. Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2021 There’s something to fit in every beach bag, errand-running tote, and e-reader. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 10 June 2022 Anyone who has—or works with—young people knows that this is often a fool's errand. Brennan Barnard, Forbes, 6 June 2022 Children and parents or their caregivers spending time together in silence or even running an errand or doing chores can create a connection, according to Whitaker. Megan Marples, CNN, 20 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near errand



errand boy

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Statistics for errand

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Errand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for errand


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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