mes·sen·ger | \ ˈme-sᵊn-jər \

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, 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

Astrophysicists have long dreamed of employing messengers besides light to reveal the inner workings of the many unfathomable wonders in the cosmos. Mark Bowen, Scientific American, "Neutrinos on Ice: Astronomers' Long Hunt for Source of Extragalactic "Ghost Particles" Pays Off," 12 July 2018 Turns out deep breathing directly affects the levels of a natural chemical messenger in the brain, noradrenaline (also called norepinephrine), that keeps the brain sharp. Houston Chronicle, "How to “live long and prosper”," 7 July 2018 In early 2015, in collaboration with local tech civil society groups, Facebook made a set of digital stickers available on the messenger platform. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "How Facebook’s Rise Fueled Chaos and Confusion in Myanmar," 6 July 2018 In Chicago, only bike messengers and delivery people are required to wear helmets. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "Why I loathe bicycle helmets," 21 June 2018 The messenger Jung Gwang-il is always trying to figure out how to cross the border. Brian Murphy,, "Could these outspoken North Korean defectors return home?," 11 June 2018 Messages on encrypted platforms are only as secure as the messengers make them. Olivia Nuzzi, Daily Intelligencer, "Sam Nunberg on What Happens When Mueller Wants to Dig Through Your Phone," 7 June 2018 Mercury is best known as the messenger of the gods, an überathlete with superhuman speed. Michael Mcknight,, "Percy Harvin Takes His Battle With Anxiety Public as He Gets Closer to Internal Peace," 28 June 2018 Discovered by a telescope in Hawaii, Oumuamua is Hawaiian for messenger from afar arriving first, or scout. Washington Post, "Comet or asteroid? Scientists ID interstellar visitor," 27 June 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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Phrases Related to messenger

blame/shoot the messenger

Statistics for messenger

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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 \

Kids Definition of messenger

: a person who carries a message or does an errand


mes·sen·ger | \ ˈmes-ᵊn-jər \

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).


the setting in which something occurs

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