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[kur-ee-er, koo r-] /ˈkɜr i ər, ˈkʊər-/
a messenger, usually traveling in haste, bearing urgent news, important reports or packages, diplomatic messages, etc.
any means of carrying news, messages, etc., regularly.
the conveyance used by a courier, as an airplane or ship.
Chiefly British. a tour guide for a travel agency.
Origin of courier
1350-1400; < Middle French cour(r)ier < Italian corriere, equivalent to corr(ere) to run (< Latin currere) + -iere < Latin -ārius -ary; replacing Middle English corour < Anglo-French cor(i)our, Old French coreor < Late Latin curritor runner; see current, -tor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for courier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The courier, with agitation in his voice, announced 'Miss Mairdale!'

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The courier in the rumble was not altogether comfortable in his mind.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • It was therefore necessary to dispatch a courier to Mexico, and to wait his return.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • This will be confirmed by your official attendant, who will be an Envoy's courier.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • Maids, courier, and heavier luggage had been sent on earlier by the branch-line.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for courier


a special messenger, esp one carrying diplomatic correspondence
a person who makes arrangements for or accompanies a group of travellers on a journey or tour
(transitive) to send (a parcel, letter, etc) by courier
Word Origin
C16: from Old French courrier, from Old Latin corriere, from correre to run, from Latin currere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for courier

mid-14c., from Anglo-French courrier, from Old French coreor, ultimately an agent noun from Latin currere "to run" (see current (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for courier



A small-time drug dealer or drug runner: the courier does not get much money

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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