Definition of messenger in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmes(ə)njər/


1A person who carries a message or is employed to carry messages.
Example sentences
  • Agni was the next and was important in the sacrifices and was considered as a messenger, carrying the messages to the heavens, as the flames of the sacrificial fires ascended upwards.
  • In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh's messengers and diplomatic envoys carried with them the seal of the Pharaoh, production of which guaranteed the carrier free and unhindered passage throughout the region.
  • But the really amazing thing is that so many others in the free world not only do not agree but loathe and detest this message and its messengers.
courier, runner, envoy, emissary, agent, go-between, message-bearer;
postman, letter carrier, mailman
historical herald
archaic legate
1.1 Biochemistry A substance that conveys information or a stimulus within the body.
Example sentences
  • As the body's chemical messengers, hormones transfer information and instructions from one set of cells to another.
  • It translates genetic information from messenger ribonucleic acid and makes protein accordingly.
  • ‘Some plasticizers can mimic the effects of certain hormones - they're chemical messengers in the body,’ she says.
2 Nautical (also messenger line) An endless rope, cable, or chain used with a capstan to haul an anchor cable or to drive a powered winch.
2.1A light line used to haul or support a larger cable.


[with object] chiefly US
Send (a document or package) by messenger: could you have it messengered over to me?
More example sentences
  • Knowing I was ill she messengered me over some echinacea and zinc and ginger tea.
  • But I think, as circumstance would have it, she was anticipating, I think, a script to be messengered, and there was a buzz at her door.
  • Arnaz phones the night club, has Stack paged and asks him to go home and read some scripts that are being messengered to his doorstep.


shoot (or kill) the messenger

Treat the bearer of bad news as if they were to blame for it.
Example sentences
  • There is no time to be wasted by shooting the messenger of bad news.
  • The British public can't allow the Labour Party to shoot the messenger of such important news.
  • Calling them names for doing so is like shooting the messenger who brings bad news.


Middle English: from Old Northern French messanger, variant of Old French messager, from Latin missus (see message).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mes·sen·ger

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