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[kur-ee-er, koo r-] /ˈkɜr i ər, ˈkʊər-/
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.
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for courier
  • Many couriers and messengers work for messenger or courier services.
  • Those with experience may open their own courier and messenger business and work as independent contractors.
  • When the load is too small to justify a truck, it is sometimes sent by courier.
  • They would prefer working as messengers, pizza delivery, courier or wheels.
  • But it wasn't an illegal immigrant in search of a job, or a courier in the drug trade.
  • He works as an independent now, picking up work from a variety of courier companies.
  • Anyone who has used a proper courier bag will be familiar with this.
  • Various schemes might further protect goods from the errant courier and provide receipts as needed.
  • In my experience, the latter had decent prices for the weight, compared to mail or courier prices.
  • One of my good friends from high school owns his own courier service.
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
(transitive) to send (a parcel, letter, etc) by courier
Word Origin
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
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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
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Slang definitions & phrases for courier



A small-time drug dealer or drug runner: the courier does not get much money

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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