• synonyms


See more synonyms for errand on Thesaurus.com
  1. a short and quick trip to accomplish a specific purpose, as to buy something, deliver a package, or convey a message, often for someone else.
  2. the purpose of such a trip: He finished his errands.
  3. a special mission or function entrusted to a messenger; commission.
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Origin of errand

before 900; Middle English erande, Old English ærende; cognate with Old High German āruntī; compare Old English ār messenger, Gothic airus


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

Related Words

duty, assignment, charge, mission, commission, job, message

Examples from the Web for errand

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British Dictionary definitions for errand


  1. a short trip undertaken to perform a necessary task or commission (esp in the phrase run errands)
  2. the purpose or object of such a trip
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Word Origin

Old English ǣrende; related to ār messenger, Old Norse erendi message, Old High German ārunti, Swedish ärende
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 errand


Old English ærende "message, mission; answer, news, tidings," from Proto-Germanic *ærundjam (cf. Old Saxon arundi, Old Norse erendi, Danish ærende, Swedish ärende, Old Frisian erende, Old High German arunti "message"). Originally of important missions; meaning "short, simple journey and task" is attested by 1640s. Related: Errands.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with errand


see fool's errand; run an errand.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.