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messenger

[mes-uh n-jer]
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noun
  1. a person who carries a message or goes on an errand for another, especially as a matter of duty or business.
  2. a person employed to convey official dispatches or to go on other official or special errands: a bank messenger.
  3. Nautical.
    1. a rope or chain made into an endless belt to pull on an anchor cable or to drive machinery from some power source, as a capstan or winch.
    2. a light line by which a heavier line, as a hawser, can be pulled across a gap between a ship and a pier, a buoy, another ship, etc.
  4. Oceanography. a brass weight sent down a line to actuate a Nansen bottle or other oceanographic instrument.
  5. Archaic. a herald, forerunner, or harbinger.
verb (used with object)
  1. to send by messenger.

Origin of messenger

1175–1225; Middle English messager, messangere < Anglo-French; Old French messagier. See message, -er2

Synonyms

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1. bearer, courier.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for messenger

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • “If an angel be a messenger of God, I trow he is one,” said Tibble.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • "For Miss Dennis," said the messenger; but she handed the card to Mrs. Roberts.

  • A note came by a messenger who waited for no answer, as he told the yawning maid.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The messenger, too, who lends himself to her humour now becomes a proper man.

  • Sometimes when there was quarreling between the clans they would not receive a messenger.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin


British Dictionary definitions for messenger

messenger

noun
  1. a person who takes messages from one person or group to another or others
  2. a person who runs errands or is employed to run errands
  3. a carrier of official dispatches; courier
  4. nautical
    1. a light line used to haul in a heavy rope
    2. an endless belt of chain, rope, or cable, used on a powered winch to take off power
  5. archaic a herald

Word Origin

C13: from Old French messagier, from message
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

Word Origin and History for messenger

n.

c.1200, messager, from Old French messagier "messenger, envoy, ambassador," from message (see message (n.)). With parasitic -n- inserted by c.1300 for no apparent reason except that people liked to say it that way (cf. passenger, harbinger, scavenger).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper