- 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.
- the purpose of such a trip: He finished his errands.
- a special mission or function entrusted to a messenger; commission.
Origin of errand
Synonyms for errandSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for errands
Contemporary Examples of errands
Three dogs trotted around the house throughout the day, hopping in the car with Mr. and Mrs. Russell on occasion to do errands.‘She Knew Nothing’: Meet the Bomber’s Widow, Raising the Bomber’s Daughter
April 23, 2013
He would send Chuck Traynor out on errands to get him away from the set.Linda Lovelace and ‘Deep Throat’s’ 40-Year Legacy
April 25, 2012
Is life just a string of errands, dinner dates, emails, meetings, and to-do lists, she wonders?This Week's Hot Reads
The Daily Beast
February 18, 2010
And please, would you mind taking care of our errands and bills?Salinger's Final Mystery
January 29, 2010
Historical Examples of errands
Young lieutenants who rode forth on errands often failed to come back.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
Nana, who had hastened to the window again, volunteered to do the errands if they liked.L'Assommoir
She had often been on errands alone in the great city, where everything was so confusing.
Them that had errands made it a p'int to cruise past that way.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
I don't mind doin' errands, only I like to have 'em appreciated.Cap'n Dan's Daughter
Joseph C. Lincoln
- a short trip undertaken to perform a necessary task or commission (esp in the phrase run errands)
- the purpose or object of such a trip
Word Origin 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.
see fool's errand; run an errand.