errand

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n errand a short trip that is taken in the performance of a necessary task or mission
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Errand A mission.
    • n Errand A special business intrusted to a messenger; something to be told or done by one sent somewhere for the purpose; often, a verbal message; a commission; as, the servant was sent on an errand; to do an errand . Also, one's purpose in going anywhere. "I have a secret errand to thee, O king.""I will not eat till I have told mine errand ."
    • Errand Any specific task, usually of a routine nature, requiring some form of travel, usually locally. An errand is often on behalf of someone else, but sometimes for one's own purposes.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n errand A special business intrusted to a messenger; a verbal charge or message; a mandate or order; something to be told or done: as, the servant was sent on an errand; he told his errand; he has done the errand.
    • errand An obsolete variant of arrant.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Errand er′and a message: a commission to say or do something
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Quotations

  • Piet Hein
    Piet Hein
    “The road to wisdom? Well, it's plain and simple to express: Errand err again but less and less and less.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. erende, erande, message, business, AS. ærende, ærend,; akin to OS. arundi, OHG. arunti, Icel. eyrendi, örendi, erendi, Sw. ärende, Dan. ærende,; perh. akin to AS. earu, swift, Icel. örr, and to L. oriri, to rise, E. orient,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. ǽrende; Ice. eyrindi; prob. conn. with Goth. áirus, Ice. árr, a messenger.

Usage

In literature:

I have listened on street corners; I have made errands to newspaper offices.
"The Portion of Labor" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
He had been sent on an errand, and had to return to discharge a more important duty in the same afternoon.
"A Dozen Ways Of Love" by Lily Dougall
Without a word, they went up-stairs to prepare for their errand.
"Prudence of the Parsonage" by Ethel Hueston
She was going toward Red Creek, her errand urgent as were always the errands of Terry.
"Man to Man" by Jackson Gregory
He had a lot of news that we had not received and many errands to be done for people who had friends and relatives here.
"A Journal From Our Legation in Belgium" by Hugh Gibson
So do my errand, and good-morning, James.
"The Entailed Hat" by George Alfred Townsend
To this house, a great Colonial mansion, with windows as large as those of the meeting-house, I was often sent on errands.
"Confessions of Boyhood" by John Albee
I used to go on errands before I was as old as she is.
"Young Lucretia and Other Stories" by Mary E. Wilkins
Fred Jarvis is only an errand-boy in Boston.
"The Bobbin Boy" by William M. Thayer
My errand was a strange one to earn a benediction.
"Simon Dale" by Anthony Hope
Cousin Charley was sent to the country on an errand that was supposed to consume a couple of hours.
"Watch Yourself Go By" by Al. G. Field
I helped 'round de house when I wanted to and I run errands for Miss Betsy.
"Slave Narratives, Oklahoma" by Various
Soon he spoke of the errand that brought him from his own land.
"Northland Heroes" by Florence Holbrook
Vanka was throwing stones at me now from his mother's doorway, and I continued on my errand, but I did not hurry.
"The Promised Land" by Mary Antin
He asked me my errand and I replied, truly enough, I went to visit a gentleman at Oxford.
"Sir Ludar" by Talbot Baines Reed
Why did she send me away thus on a fool's errand?
"Kilgorman" by Talbot Baines Reed
It is an errand similar to that he has been several times sent upon before.
"The Lone Ranche" by Captain Mayne Reid
It must have been thirty feet deep above all that was mortal of Sir Runan Errand.
"Much Darker Days" by Andrew Lang (AKA A. Huge Longway)
Another step, and this muzzle shall help thee on thine errand.
"Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2)" by John Roby
We have an errand grave to the great Danish king, Nor will I hidden hold what I intend!
"Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race" by Maud Isabel Ebbutt
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In poetry:

And soon she makes her errand known,
And soon, all side by side,
The red man and his sister brave
In silence quickly glide.
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon
Then, all her errand done, she seeks
A lowly dwelling near,
And sinks, a worn-out trembling thing,
Too faint to shed a tear.
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon
And dance as dust before the sun,
And light of foot, and unconfined,
Hurry from road to road, and run
About the errands of the wind.
"Dust" by Rupert Brooke
And gently twitching Mary's hand,
The bench had ample room for two,
His first word made her understand
The plowman's errand was to woo.
"Abner And The Widow Jones" by Robert Bloomfield
Did you send out a little white moth
    On an errand to-night?
For one hovered and lingered about
    With a flutter so light:
"Verses for a Letter" by Sarah Orne Jewett
With foes ahead, behind us dread,
Beneath the sky shall be our bed,
Until at last our toil be passed,
Our journey done, our errand sped.
"Bilbo's Adventure Song" by J R R Tolkien

In news:

On Sunday, Oct 21, after running a few errands with two of my children in tow, our last stop was the grocery store.
Zoe Saldana (in Balmain) and Cameron Diaz (in Elizabeth & James) prove that the bottoms don't have to be just for the beach or running errands.
The Illuminati and the Bilderberg Group are mere errand boys compared to the string-pullers who dine at the center bullpen tables at Café Pacific in Highland Park Village.
Last week I walked out of my house in Hollytree Place to do some errands.
Mistaken Lull, Simple Errand, Death in Gaza.
Who's been sporting a cast since Mother's Day -- ran errands in L.A. Anna Nicole Smith's Daughter Dannielynn Birkhead, 6, Models for GUESS.
Ashley Olsen ran errands in New York City's Soho neighborhood October 4.
Boston's Fini Concierge gives writer Carmen D Nobel time for a soak while running her errands, cleaning her car, and organizing her domestic chaos.
ST LOUIS — The gloom and frugality of the recession may be lifting for service-oriented businesses that allow customers to outsource seasonal errands they dread.
A pregnant Rebecca Gayheart ran errands in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Yesterday I was running a particularly soul-sucking round of errands and parked my car in a metered spot.
I paid for the meter's maximum amount of two hours, but my errand only took a half an hour.
Monday morning I had to run out of downtown Bremerton to run an errand, which meant I had to give up my coveted, beloved parking space.
Yesterday afternoon I quickly got out of the car after an errand and rushed back inside to finish the paper.
Jennifer Garner Is Pictured Out With Baby Boy Samuel Affleck Jennifer Garner is spotted carrying her adorable baby boy, Samuel Affleck, while running errands in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
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In science:

Such a quest would be a fool’s errand: the sequence ρ(Ωn ) is given by a partial ergodic sum of the nonintegrable nonnegative function E (a1 θ), and the growth rate is therefore seen to be similar to the ergodic sums of simply a1 (θ).
Substitutions and 1/2-Discrepancy of $\{n \theta + x\}$ \rm{II}
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