mes·​sen·​ger | \ ˈme-sᵊn-jər How to pronounce messenger (audio) \

Definition of messenger

1 : one who bears a message or does an errand: such as
a archaic : forerunner, herald
b : a dispatch bearer in government or military service
c : an employee who carries messages
2 : a light line used in hauling a heavier line (as between ships)
3 : a substance (such as a hormone) that mediates a biological effect

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Synonyms for messenger


courier, express [British], go-between, page, runner

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Examples of messenger in a Sentence

They sent a messenger to pick up the package. the messenger comes by twice a day to pick up packages

Recent Examples on the Web

Various blogs and messenger services carried the news that people should come with food and water, because nothing was available in the neighborhood. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Arrest of a Russian Investigative Journalist Prompts Outrage and Solidarity," 10 June 2019 Most of the time, the store hires a messenger service to deliver small packages for you, so your delivery person likely isn’t being paid much per hour. Nikhita Mahtani, House Beautiful, "How Much Should I Tip for This Service?," 30 Apr. 2019 The hope is that giving some startup capital and some business skills helps recipients build a small ongoing enterprise — a small vegetable or dairy farming operation, say, or a bicycle messenger service, or a seamstress shop. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Giving out cash is a great way to fight poverty. This approach might be even better.," 15 Oct. 2018 Early the next morning, the Chicora left Milwaukee to return home, departing about 10 minutes before a messenger boy arrived at the dock with an urgent telegraph. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "8 undiscovered shipwrecks of the Great Lakes," 22 June 2018 The historical site says some reports say that a messenger was murdered on his way to Texas with the news, while others believe that the news was deliberately by the enslavers. Briana Rice,, "What is June 19? An explanation of the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery," 18 June 2019 If the advertiser targeting is hyper-precise—say, users that browsed a specific product online—then Facebook is little more than a messenger showing the same ad to that (relatively) small group of people. Antonio García Martínez, WIRED, "Are Facebook Ads Discriminatory? It’s Complicated," 11 June 2019 There is some emotional tension in your social life this month, which will likely reach a boiling point near Tuesday, June 18, as messenger Mercury meets warrior Mars. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What June's Pisces Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 29 May 2019 Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd, sent a messenger to request a lock of hair, and a tuft was clipped from the head for her. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'messenger.' 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 messenger

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for messenger

Middle English messangere, from Anglo-French messager, messanger, from message

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Statistics for messenger

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for messenger

The first known use of messenger was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for messenger



English Language Learners Definition of messenger

: someone who delivers a message or does other small jobs that involve going somewhere


mes·​sen·​ger | \ ˈme-sᵊn-jər How to pronounce messenger (audio) \

Kids Definition of messenger

: a person who carries a message or does an errand


mes·​sen·​ger | \ ˈmes-ᵊn-jər How to pronounce messenger (audio) \

Medical Definition of messenger

1 : a substance (as a hormone) that mediates a biological effect — see first messenger, second messenger

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Comments on messenger

What made you want to look up messenger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

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