- 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.
- 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
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.