[kur-ee-er, koo r-]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for courier

Contemporary Examples of courier

Historical Examples of courier

  • 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


(tr) to send (a parcel, letter, etc) by courier

Word Origin for courier

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

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