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

Bajarin's uncertainty is echoed by 556 Ventures analyst William Ho, who cautions that trying to handicap pricing in light of the tariffs is a fool's errand. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "For Holiday Shoppers Buying Tech, the Best Time to Dodge Tariffs May Be Now… or Never?," 17 Aug. 2019 Try a heavy knit sweater (instead of your go-to hoodie) and slip on a pair of clogs to run errands with the exact same effort as leggings and sneakers, but way chicer. Tyler Joe, Marie Claire, "How to Style Straight Leg Jeans," 12 Aug. 2019 For six college students immersed in summer internships for the village of Wilmette, making coffee and running errands is not on the agenda. Karen Ann Cullotta,, "Wilmette summer interns tackle high-tech projects, save village money," 5 Aug. 2019 Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people from Juarez head across the international boundary daily to shop, run errands, and meet friends in El Paso, a tradition shared in border towns from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. Los Angeles Times, "Despite El Paso shooting, residents of neighboring Juarez, Mexico, say they won’t stop crossing," 4 Aug. 2019 But depending on Washington to address gun violence is becoming a fool's errand anyway. The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, kansascity, "Forget Trump's plan. Florida gun law should be the model for Kansas and Missouri | The Kansas City Star," 12 Mar. 2018 Snow and cold tried to keep high school basketball at bay, but that proved to be a fool's errand because as the action heated up Friday night, now so has the weekend temperature. James Weber,, "High school hoops: Takeaways from another big week in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky," 20 Jan. 2018 Other volunteer activities include emotional and spiritual support, practical help such as running errands, sharing music, art and companionship. Sergio Carmona,, "MorseLife’s hospice and palliative care looking for volunteers," 18 June 2019 But these flex days offer employees an additional way to take time off for any reason: medical appointments, to spend time with family, run errands, whatever. Susan Glaser,, "Mental health day off? Company culture is changing: Top Workplaces 2019," 16 June 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

4 Sep 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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