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, 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

The dominance of this myth has much more to do with the frequency of its repetition and the ferocity of its messengers than with any evidence whatsoever. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Are the teachers unions really as powerful as all that?," 27 June 2018 From the Fringes to Your Television The new media-savvy messengers of white-supremacist ideology have been remarkably effective in hustling euphemisms into the lexicon, particularly in mainstream conservative discourse. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "How Free Speech Warriors Mainstreamed White Supremacists," 8 May 2018 Her stunning Congressional primary win has made her a messenger for other progressives, although some have not been able to match her success at the polls. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Women Continue to Make History in an Election Year That's Already Shattering Records," 15 Aug. 2018 During the ceremony, called Nosai no Gi, a messenger from Moriya visited Princess Ayako and her mother, Princess Hisako, with gifts, like sake and sea bream. Megan Friedman, Town & Country, "Watch Japan's Princess Ayako Get Formally Engaged to Commoner Kei Moriya," 13 Aug. 2018 Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, who are seen as younger and more diverse messengers of the Democratic Party. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "Trump sees no challenger who could beat him in 2020 as Dems begin to test waters," 15 July 2018 Mercury — named after the Roman deity who served as a messenger to the gods — is the quick-moving planet that governs communication, travel, and technology. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Your 2018 Guide to Surviving Mercury Retrograde," 26 July 2018 The discussions, which come as the denomination marks 100 years since women have been welcomed as messengers, already are making their way to the meeting floor. Adelle M. Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Amid #MeToo culture, Southern Baptists mull ways to increase women’s roles," 16 June 2018 But the gathering of the nation's largest evangelical group took a political turn on Wednesday morning, when Vice President Mike Pence addressed the nearly 10,000 delegates, known as messengers. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Pence accused of 'hijacking' evangelical meeting," 13 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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Statistics for messenger

Last Updated

6 Jan 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 \

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).


a person who helps groups work together

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