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[mes-uh n-jer] /ˈmɛs ən dʒər/
a person who carries a message or goes on an errand for another, especially as a matter of duty or business.
a person employed to convey official dispatches or to go on other official or special errands:
a bank messenger.
  1. a rope or chain made into an endless belt to pull on an anchor cable or to drive machinery from some power source, as a capstan or winch.
  2. a light line by which a heavier line, as a hawser, can be pulled across a gap between a ship and a pier, a buoy, another ship, etc.
Oceanography. a brass weight sent down a line to actuate a Nansen bottle or other oceanographic instrument.
Archaic. a herald, forerunner, or harbinger.
verb (used with object)
to send by messenger.
Origin of messenger
1175-1225; Middle English messager, messangere < Anglo-French; Old French messagier. See message, -er2
1. bearer, courier. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for messenger
  • messenger has already revealed plenty of tantalising information.
  • One of its jobs is to act as a messenger carrying genetic information from a cell's nucleus to the machinery which makes proteins.
  • Demonize and dehumanize the messenger, the message will become forgotten.
  • He had been looking for someone who knew the university and could act as a confidante and a messenger.
  • They are apt to punish the messenger, not the miscreants.
  • Faculty often have no idea at all how universities actually make important decisions and tend to blame the messenger.
  • In an ideal world students will realize that it is the message they should be paying attention to and not the messenger.
  • In many cases, blaming administrators amounts to shooting the messenger.
  • The war was quickening other changes in the country, as suggested by that telegraphic messenger.
  • Roemer is an imperfect messenger to highlight the imperfections of the primary process.
British Dictionary definitions for messenger


a person who takes messages from one person or group to another or others
a person who runs errands or is employed to run errands
a carrier of official dispatches; courier
  1. a light line used to haul in a heavy rope
  2. an endless belt of chain, rope, or cable, used on a powered winch to take off power
(archaic) a herald
Word Origin
C13: from Old French messagier, from message
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 messenger

c.1200, messager, from Old French messagier "messenger, envoy, ambassador," from message (see message (n.)). With parasitic -n- inserted by c.1300 for no apparent reason except that people liked to say it that way (cf. passenger, harbinger, scavenger).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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messenger in the Bible

(Heb. mal'ak, Gr. angelos), an angel, a messenger who runs on foot, the bearer of despatches (Job 1:14; 1 Sam. 11:7; 2 Chr. 36:22); swift of foot (2 Kings 9:18).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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